Uganda loses at least 65 people to road accidents in one week

Two dead after truck rams into 13 cars, 2 motorcycles at Namboole

Kampala, Uganda | By Michael Wandati | Last week, road accidents claimed the lives of at least 65 individuals, as reported by the traffic police.

The provided statistics reveal a total of 382 crashes, resulting in 65 fatalities. Among the victims were 22 pedestrians and 22 commercial motorcycle riders, commonly referred to as bodaboda riders.

The traffic police spokesperson, Michael Kananura, attributes the majority of these accidents to irresponsible road behavior, including overtaking on curved sections, tailgating, and operating vehicles in unsafe mechanical conditions.

Kananura further elaborated that a significant number of bodaboda riders involved in the accidents displayed reckless behavior while crossing junctions, with some neglecting to wear crash helmets.

In 2022, the recorded fatalities among bodaboda riders exceeded 1,400, with reasons attributing to impatience, failure to wear crash helmets, and operating motorcycles in hazardous mechanical conditions.

Siraje Mutyaba, a prominent leader among bodaboda riders, acknowledged the necessity of raising awareness among riders regarding the crucial importance of wearing crash helmets. However, he noted that some riders have not adhered to this safety measure.

Mutyaba underscored the collective responsibility of every bodaboda rider in recognizing the significance of wearing a crash helmet to mitigate fatalities on the roads.

“Many of our colleagues have not bothered to buy crash helmets and some are still reluctant to buy reflector jackets. If every bodaboda rider appreciated the importance of wearing a crash helmet, these deaths would be reduced,” Mutyaba said.

Numerous pedestrians facing fatal accidents often encounter tragedy at marked zebra crossings where motorists neglect safety protocols. Additionally, pedestrians remain vulnerable to accidents caused by speeding and overtaking vehicles along roadsides, as per the observations of the traffic police.

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Kananura declared the resumption of traffic police operations targeting drivers with vehicles in unsafe mechanical conditions, bodaboda riders without crash helmets, and those lacking warning reflector triangles, effective today.

“We also warn people against overtaking in sharp corners and you should always ask yourself whether it’s necessary to overtake. Before you overtake, ensure you that the road ahead is very clear,” Kananura said.

Sam Bambanza, the executive director of Hope for Victims of Traffic Accidents (HOVITA), stressed the collective responsibility for road safety, highlighting that a considerable portion of accident victims includes children and youth who succumb to accidents as pedestrians or passengers on motorcycles.