Uganda Cracks Down on Deadly Boda-Boda Accidents

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Uganda Cracks Down on Deadly Boda-Boda Accidents
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Uganda's roads are deadlier than ever. In a bid to curb the rising tide of crashes, the Directorate of Traffic Police and Road Safety has launched a multi-pronged attack, with a sharp focus on boda-bodas, the motorcycle taxis ubiquitous across the country.

The alarming statistics speak for themselves. Nearly half (45%) of all accidents in 2023 involved motorcycles. A recent week (May 12th-18th, 2024) painted a grim picture with 65 fatalities, a quarter of them (29) being motorcyclists. Speeding and reckless overtaking were the top culprits, responsible for over half the mishaps in 2023.

"We're taking a zero-tolerance approach," declared Michael Kananura, Traffic Police spokesperson, at a recent press briefing. Their sights are set on boda-boda riders who flout safety regulations. Riders without helmets, reflective jackets, or proper licenses will face the full force of the law. The message extends to passengers as well, urging them to prioritize their safety by ensuring they board a properly equipped boda-boda.

This crackdown isn't limited to two-wheeled offenders. Drivers operating vehicles outside their licensed class or lacking a valid license will also be apprehended. "Get that license before you get behind the wheel," warned Kananura, emphasizing the importance of qualified drivers.

Pedestrians haven't been spared the carnage. Shockingly, 37% of all road fatalities in 2023 were pedestrians, highlighting the vulnerability of those on foot.

The Traffic Police isn't just wielding the stick; they're also offering the carrot. Public education campaigns aimed at promoting responsible behavior will continue. Educating both drivers and pedestrians on safe road practices is a crucial part of the strategy. Additionally, the fight against the misuse of sirens and violations of one-way streets will persist.

This intensified enforcement campaign represents a critical step towards safer roads in Uganda. By addressing reckless driving, promoting safety awareness, and holding violators accountable, the Traffic Police hopes to turn the tide on this deadly trend.

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