According to a recent study on motorcycle use carried out by Africa Community Access Partnership (AFCAP) only 2% of motorcycle riders attended driving school and only 10% had riding licenses.
TRANSPORT ROAD SAFETY
The state minister for primary education, Rosemary Seninde, has urged the Police to enforce helmet use regulations by boda boda riders and their passengers.
"How can a boda boda rider carrying six pupils without helmets bypass a traffic officer and you do not arrest the culprit?" Seninde asked.
She pointed out that 80% of injured patients admitted to health facilities in the city are due to boda boda accidents.
She criticised the traffic Police for being inconsistent in implementing road safety regulations. "The Police should enforce road safety laws consistently," Seninde stated.
The minister was speaking during the launch of a campaign child safety helmet initiative in public schools spearheaded by Vivo Energy Uganda in partnership with Safe Boda Uganda at Natete Junior School on Friday.
The campaign dubbed "heads up" under the theme no helmet no boda especially for children seeks to promote the mandatory use of child-specific helmets for school going children using boda boda riders.
It is intended to address the plight of children using public motorcycle transportation commuting to school daily without the recommended safety protection.
According to a recent study on motorcycle use carried out by Africa Community Access Partnership (AFCAP) only 2% of motorcycle riders attended driving school and only 10% had riding licenses. Uganda motorcycle riders had the lowest ownership of helmets at 41% with only 25% reporting that they always wore helmets.
The study also showed that Uganda riders had the highest proportion of injuries at 48%.
According to available statistic figures, road accidents kill over 3,500 people including about 600 children every year on Ugandan roads.
Globally, road traffic accidents kill 1.25 million people while 20-50 million people suffer from non-fatal injuries.
She appealed to parents who drop their children to school using motorcyclists to buy helmets for them for protection measures.
The commander of Kampala Metropolitan Police, Norman Musinga who was present at function did not respond to the minister's criticism.
When pressed hard by journalists Musinga instead accused reporters of being biased when reporting about accidents and declined to comment about Seninde's remarks.
The managing director of Vivo Energy, Gilbert Assi, told the audience that hopefully, the campaign will inspire the introduction of new policies and enforcement to address the regulation of safe transportation of children using motorcycle transportation to and from schools.
He pointed out that if Uganda is to achieve the 2030 sustainable development goal target halving the number of deaths and injuries from road traffic accidents by 2020 a lot needs to be done.
During the function, the pupils of Natete Junior School participated in painting a Zebra crossing near their school to curb accidents.
The co-founder of Safe Boda Uganda, Ricky Rapa Thomson said it's critical for all stakeholders to work together towards the improvement of road safety of children through wearing helmets.