Monday, April 23, 2012


I always wonder who is behind the numerous Police lead cars seen at break neck speeds on Entebbe Highway. The Police who know very well the causes of accidents in the country which claim more than 2,000 people annually should do better. Who is it that they always have to carry at such speeds without any due respect for other road users. Many times I see them and those on the road at that time are just saved by the grace of God. Can someone address this hopeless practice which is simply putting the highway users at the mercy of God. It is simply senseless. Any moment the people being led at those hopeless speeds are at risk of death. The Highway has nearly in every corner got police personnel along it. The question, what logic in Police lead cars driven recklessly? Surely this madness MUST stop. William Kituuka Kiwanuka 2300 UGANDANS PERISH ON OUR ROADS ANNUALLY Written by Bwire Stephen Tuesday, 23 March 2010 07:15 Grim statistics According to last year's police statistics, the number of reported accidents was 17,248, and the number of people killed stood at 2,334 while those injured were about 12,056. The accident occurrence has been on an upward trend rising from 14,384 reported accidents and 1,678 deaths respectively in 2008. Records for the period 1990-2000 show a persistent increase in the number of road traffic accidents, increasing at annual rate of 20% in the ten years. Road accidents in Uganda claim over 2000 lives annually - meaning that as many as 34 buses full of people perish on our roads. It is estimated that 32 people out of every 100,000 Ugandans get injured annually in road accidents, making Uganda's road network one of the most unsafe in the World. Gov't claims its working Despite the apparently soaring number of accidents, officials claim that there is a new commitment by government to bring the worrying state of affairs under control. Some of these measures, the government officials point out, include the massive investments in improving the state of our roads. The establishment of a road maintenance department and a road fund dedicated to repairing dilapidated roads are also cited among measures to control the high road carnage. George Rukara, Secretary to the National Roads Safety Council (NRSC) claims: "I think those who say that Government is not concerned about road safety and status of roads are seeing the commitment from Government." "The trillions our people contribute as taxes are doing a tremendous job in as far as road maintenance and repair is concerned. Road safety begins with better roads, and that's exactly what Government is doing," assures Rukara. According to the Injury Control Centre Uganda (ICCU) community survey, the top three causes of severe injuries among urban children (less than 18 years) in Uganda are traffic (46%), falls (14%) and burns (11%). In Uganda, about 400 children die and about 1,200 are seriously injured on our roads every year. Human errors to blame for carnage While it is true that potholes and narrow roads result into accidents, a recent World Bank-funded road safety Audit and Improvement study in Uganda and subsequent police reports, attribute the highest number of accidents to human error. Errors include reckless driving, over-speeding, inconsiderate use of the roads, careless or ignorant pedestrians, incompetent drivers, and driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs. Bazil Mugisha, the Commissioner of Traffic Police argues that human errors can be reduced if every road user had the right attitude while using the road. He says that some of these accidents would not be occurring if road users were following the laid-out guidelines on road usage, for instance, there is no need for a commuter taxi driver to over speed when he knows that he would surely reach his destination even if he drove slowly. Mugisha asserts that the motive to make quick profits as opposed to driving passengers safely is what would force many bus and taxi drivers on our roads to over speed, because they want to make as many road trips as possible in order to maximise earnings. As a way of curbing reckless drivers and those who over speed, Mugisha says that Traffic Police has instituted an Express Penalty Scheme (EPS) whereby the reckless drivers are fined a given fee depending on the magnitude of their recklessness and the speed at which they drive. Asked if the EPS would not promote impunity on the part of drivers since they could misbehave on the road and get away with it by paying fines, Mugisha explains that whatever fine the driver pays, and all the particulars of the vehicle, is filled in the Express Receipt Book. Impact on economy It is estimated that road accidents in Uganda cost 2.7% (Approx Ushs 885bn) of our GDP in terms of lives and other property lost. Comparatively, the road safety situation in the East African Region is not any different. Although Uganda boasts of substantial economic gains in the last two decades as reflected in the road transport sector, it has now become every citizen's concern and worry that vehicles are forcing scores of innocent people to their early graves, and to which calls for stringent and practicable measures must fast be put in place to reduce on the number of road deaths. More money more accidents? Over the past decade or so, Ugandans have grown richer and bought cars in large numbers. URA figures of 2006 show that Uganda had 350,000 registered vehicles, seven times more than it had in 1991. In addition, over the years, a business of transporting people n motor cycles (boda bodas) has emerged but with serious consequences on people health since the are the largest causes of road accidents especially in urban areas. The situation is further complicated by the bicycles, pedestrians and animals that share the same roads with vehicles. The rich also cry The increase in the accident fatalities has not only had an impact on the Mwanaichi but also politicians in high positions of responsibility. Memories are still fresh about the sudden death of former Attorney General, Francis Ayume who died in an accident in 2005 when his car hit a pothole along Gulu-Packwach road. Late last year, the leader of opposition Prof. Ogenga Latigo narrowly survived a fetal accident. Other prominent figures who have perished in accidents in recent years include the late former Mp of Budiope Henry Balikoowa, Bishop Patrick Kyaligonza of Kasese Diocese, Woman Member of Parliament Vicky Kyakuhaire Kyaka and the Vice President's Gilbert Bukenya's son Brian Bukenya
The map of the Southern by Pass which will ease traffic going to and fro Entebbe
Kampala Woman Memeber of Parliament Nabillah Naggayi Sempala was seriously injured in an accident involving two police vehicles at the Rubaga church junction. The accident happened as police tried to block opposition supporters who had been attending an Activists for change (A4C) rally in Wankulukuku from following the MP and Forum for Democratic Change president Dr. Kizza Besigye. The Kampala woman MP who was flashing the FDC V-sign to her supporters on top of her car was injured in the abdomen when her vehicle collided head on with a police van, reg. No. UP 1928 and a police patrol pickup Reg. No. UP 2953.

No comments:

Post a Comment