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Road crashes claim lives of 7,000 Ugandans in two years

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The data on road fatalities compiled by traffic police directorate shows the number of Ugandans killed in road crashes doubled those who succumbed to Covid-19 in the last two years.

Uganda spent two years under total and partial lockdown in a bid to control the spread of Covid-19.

According to Worldometers, a renowned website in giving latest Covid-19 statistics, 3,596 Ugandans as of May 24, 2022 have died of the highly contagious disease.

But in the same period, 7,822 Ugandans have been killed on roads where most of the victims have been pedestrians, followed by motorcyclists and passengers on motorcycles.

Police statistics contained in a report released by the acting traffic and road safety director, Commissioner of Police -CP Lawrence Niwabiine, show that last year was very lethal to road users, leaving 4,159 dead.

Niwabiine’s figures show that 1,390 motorcyclists, 1,384 pedestrians, 528 passengers on motorcycles and 200 drivers lost their lives in road crashes last year. This was the first time the number of motorcyclists killed in road crashes surpassed the number of pedestrians.

“Accidents that involve pedestrians usually occur as they try to cross the roads,” explains Niwabiine. “In some cases, pedestrians fall victim when vehicles veer off the road and plough into them. Other accidents occur when a driver trying to avoid collision with another vehicle ends up hitting pedestrians.”

The 2020 traffic and road safety deaths stood at 3,663 according to CP Basil Mugisha, who was at the time the Acting traffic police director. In 2020, the people most killed in road crashes were pedestrians, standing at 1,258, while motorcyclists killed on roads were 1,146. Passengers on motorcycles who died were 409.

Mugisha explains that the numbers of motorcyclists and their passengers dying increases every year because people like them for their flexibility and versatility. However, police indicates that many riders are very careless on roads.

In a bid to minimize road crashes, Niwabiine says police arrested and fined 336,722 traffic offenders in 2021. The biggest number of offenders was apprehended over careless driving, over speeding, driving vehicles and motor vehicles in dangerous mechanical conditions.

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