KAMPALA – The Ministry of Works and Transport in collaboration with the police have announced stringent traffic measures to curb accidents during the festive season.
The measures followed a registration of up to 390 road crashes across the country between December 10 – 19, 2022, of which 71 cases were fatal, while 202 victims escaped with serious injuries. 117 sustained minor wounds.
The latest of these accidents was a fatal crash, claiming the life of Patrick Okabe, the Serere County legislator and his wife Christine Okabe at Naboa along Mbale – Tirinyi road on Monday.
A day earlier, a nasty accident involving a Global Coaches bus, Reg. No. UAW 561P and a saloon car Toyota Corolla Fielder, Reg. No. UBL 270S occurred at Nabusanke Trading Centre, along Kampala-Masaka road, claiming the lives of four people.
It is against this background that Gen Edward Katumba Wamala, the Minister of Works and Transport, came up with stringent measures, notifying that nation at the Uganda Media Centre – Kampala on Tuesday, to possibly curb road carnages.
Katumba directed police to heighten its vigilance on the road; impound all vehicles in dangerous mechanical conditions – DMCs; arrest – drunk drivers, drivers without valid driving licences, and those using hand held mobile phones amongst others.
The Minister also announced a ban on all Passenger Service Vehicles – PSVs plying the different routes across the country from making return journeys, arguing that it is a selfish practice that risks the lives of travellers.
He urged the public to use the toll free line 0800 199 099 in reporting errant drivers, accidents and call for rescue when the need arises.
At the same presser, Traffic Police, Spokesperson Faridah Nampiima advised all motorists to carry a pair of the red-yellow colour triangular reflector, which is always placed 100 feet behind and in front of a broken down car as a warning to other drivers.
The Acting Commissioner, Traffic and Road Safety, Lawrence Niwabiine noted that implementation of the directives had taken immediate effect, warning that motorists who violate the traffic law would face arrests.
The 2021 Police report revealed that up to 4,159 died of different road crashes in the country. Of those 1,390 were motorcyclists; 1,384 pedestrians, 528 passengers on motorcycles while 200 were drivers.
In comparison to the previous year, the traffic and road safety deaths stood at 3,663. During the year, the people most killed in road crashes were pedestrians, standing at 1,258, while motorcyclists killed were 1,146. Passengers on motorcycles who died were 409.
According to police, up to 336,722 traffic offenders were arrested and in 2021 with the majority of offenders facing charges of careless driving, over speeding, driving vehicles and motor vehicles in dangerous mechanical conditions.
Additional reporting by URN