Experts, Activists Ask Gov’t to Curb Indiscipline on Roads

Road safety activists and experts have asked the government to curb indiscipline in order to reduce carnage.

Micheal Kananura, the Traffic Police Spokesperson recently told URN that 100 people had died within seven days last week, which translates to more than 14 people losing their life through road crashes every 24 hours.

Road safety activists and experts attribute the ever-increasing road deaths and injuries to indiscipline on the roads.

Addressing the media on Thursday under their umbrella “Road Safety Advocacy Coalition Uganda (ROSACU), the activists and experts said indiscipline on the roads involves corrupt traffic officers, impunity by government and security officials as well ‘big wigs’ who think they have more rights on the roads than other users.

Fred Tumwine, the ROSACU Chairperson, who was accompanied by the Association’s Secretary, Sam Bambanza, and other members, said impunity exhibited by government and security officials as well as powerful civilians has made many other road users violate traffic rules and regulations thus endangering lives of other innocent users.

“As ROSACU we are alarmed by the abhorrent road carnage prevailing in the country. Ten thousand crashes resulted in deaths, injuries, and a trillion Shillings lost. Diverse factors including driving under the influence of alcohol, driving while using mobile phones, speeding, and reckless driving are all responsible for these crashes,” Tumwine said.

Bambanza said reducing road crashes also requires impounding vehicles that have added features that are not meant for vehicles and motorcycles. He said many vehicles have illegally installed roof lights, sirens, and canopies but the traffic police have not done much to curb such violations.

“We call for enforcement of traffic and road safety regulations in all jurisdictions. Responsible government agencies should undertake massive, focused, and targeted road safety education. There should be urgent action upon the concerns of driver’s training and welfare,” Bambanza said.

Susan Tumuhairwe, Dr. Hannah Muzeeyi, and Richard Baguma, both ROSACU members said the government needs to undertake effective road crash data management and put in place post-crash facilities including well-equipped ambulances, health facilities along highways, and training of first aid responders.

Uganda lost 4,534 people in road crashes last year which was an increase from 4, 159 deaths in 2021. With last week’s deaths of 14 people per day, the figures for road deaths are likely to increase this year. ROSACU has urged the government to strengthen cooperation among CSOs, the private sector, and the government because effective road safety needs a multi-sectoral approach.

“When crashes happen, there is no comprehensive investigation to know what the exact cause was. Apart from saying reckless driving or speeding, there must mechanism to know whether the crash resulted from the vehicle condition, road design, or driver error. This is the only way we can have justice for crash victims and successful prosecution of culprits causing deaths and injuries,” Bambanza said.

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