Safe Way Right Way: Public traveling upcountry argued to be vigilant
Kafu-Gulu, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | In an effort to reduce increasing number of festive-season related road carnage, Uganda Police Force in partnership with Safe Way Right Way Uganda have re-launched the speed management campaign along major highways.
Instead of focusing on road fines and arrests, the campaign through implementation of holistic highway specific interventions informed by the “Decade of Action for Road Safety Pillars”, aims instead at sensitizing road users on safety, infrastructure protection and the discipline of improving road safety for vulnerable users.
On average, Uganda loses 10 people per day in road traffic crashes, which is the highest in East Africa. Reports statistics have indicated that road crash fatalities in Uganda rose from 2,579 to 3,503 in 2016, representing about 25.9%.
Barbara Mwanje, the Chief Executive Officers of Safeway Right Way observed that, “during this period of the year, it is a tendency for passengers to tempt their drivers into speeding so as to get to their destination. In the same vein, drivers rush in a bid to make more return journeys due to the number of people traveling upcountry.”
“Safeway Right Way has also donated laser speed guns to the Uganda Police Force and sophisticated road safety equipment, carried out traffic police training and sensitized speeding drivers apprehended along Kampala – Gulu highway this week” Mwanje said.
He said a baseline survey has identified high accident locations (black spots) and they have suggested measures to mitigate some avoidable accidents. Mwanje said enforcement of speed limits is a fundamental and quick win solution to the many fatalities and injuries.
“Although some road experts may attribute road carnage on most highways in Uganda (Kampala-Masaka, Kampala-Gulu and Jinja-Kampala) as generally narrow i.e. single-carriage, two way roads which makes overtaking risky and tricky for drivers especially when a trailer or goods truck is on the road. We should not ignore the fact that 80% of the causes are a result of human error,” Mwanje added.
Safe Way Right Way Uganda is an NGO focussed on improving road safety and is a result of a collaboration between the World Bank’s ‘Global Road Safety Partnerships’ and Total to improve road safety on Uganda’s economically critical highways.
Focus also put on BodaBoda
Mabel Asingwire, Savannah Police Superintendent said focus will not only be on vehicles, but also on motor cyclists.
“Bodaboda crashes account for the highest number of victims. People killed in motorcycle accidents are between 2011 and 2016 doubled from 570 to 1,170. In 2015, over 5,543 riders were seriously injured,” Asingwire revealed.
She said pedestrians remain the most vulnerable road users, constituting 40% of the victims. In 2016, 1354 pedestrians lost their lives as they were knocked down on their way to school, work, and market among other places.
The recent world road safety report by the Ministry of Works and Transport indicates that on average, 9,000 people died in road accidents in the last three years in Uganda. According to the report published in 2017, at least 10 people die in road accidents everyday with bodaboda riders named as the leading causes and most of them being head on collusion