Government has put in place adequate legal framework through the amended Traffic and Road Safety Act 1998, (Amendment) Act 2020.
Oyam – 16, December 2021: On 13, December Uganda launched the national road safety week 2021 at UNRA grounds, Kyambogo. This year’s National Road Safety Week theme is: “Safe Speed Saves Life.”
The theme and national road safety week is aimed at raising awareness on the impact of speeding on road traffic crashes.
Speaking at the launch, Works and Transport Minister, Gen. Katumba Wamala directed that his ministry in consultations with other stakeholders review the speed limit regulations and cater for 30 km/h speed limits where people and traffic mix like school zones.
This, he said, is to protect road users especially children who are more vulnerable, pedestrians, elderly and people with physical challenges while crossing the roads.
“According to World Health Organization – Pan American Health Organization report 2018, reducing speed by 5% cuts fatalities by 30%, I therefore call upon each and every one to embrace the slogan “Safe Speed Saves Life” in order to protect and save lives,” part of his speech reads.
Road traffic injuries are the leading cause of death for children between 5 – 14 years and young adults between 15 – 29 years of age, the most productive age.
In Uganda, on average 10 people die and many more are seriously injured every day, according to the Traffic Police reports.
The minister also reminded people at the launch that “the country loses over 5 Trillion Shillings (5% of GDP) through rescue, treatment, rehabilitation and lost productivity due to road crashes.”
“As you may be aware, government through my ministry joined the rest of the World on 28 October, 2021 to receive the Global Plan which will guide our interventions towards achieving the target of the 2nd Decade of Action for Road Safety to halve the number of road crashes by 2030. My ministry is committed to achieving this target.”
On 21 November 2021, Uganda commemorated the World Remembrance Day for Road Traffic Victims with the focus on the reduction of traffic speeds – low speeds which have the potential to prevent many deaths and serious injuries.
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In particular, Katumba said those of pedestrians and other vulnerable road users including children, elderly and the disabled.
He applauded the Inter Religious Council of Uganda for leading the prayers at the World Remembrance Day for road crash victims, urging them to continue spreading the road safety message to their respective places of worship during prayer gatherings as we approach the festive season.
At the same event, Bageya Waiswa, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Works and Transport said this year’s theme acknowledges that reducing speed is key to achieving road safety targets, including
Sustainable Development Goal 3.6 to reduce road traffic deaths and injuries by 50% by 2030 and Sustainable Development Goal target 11.2 to provide access to safe, affordable, accessible and sustainable transport systems for all by 2030.
“Government has put in place adequate legal framework through the amended Traffic and Road Safety Act 1998, (Amendment) Act 2020 to organize public transport including Boda bodas with a view of organizing the industry to make it safer, reliable and economically vibrant,” he added.
Bageya reported that Uganda is experiencing “an exponential rate of increase of motorcycles
(Boda bodas) and imported used motor vehicles”. “The enormous growth of the boda-boda industry in the country is attributed to the high public demand for cheap and relatively quick transport services, coupled with the ease of acquisition of motorcycles for the boda-boda business.”
Last week Gen. Katumba revealed that his ministry is in the final stages of acceding to the United Nations (UN) legal instruments on road safety as well as implementing and promoting their provisions into safety regulations.
The UN also demands that legislation and standards for road design and construction, vehicles, and road use are consistent with safe system principles and are enforced.
Ahead of Christmas and New Year celebrations, the directorate of traffic at Uganda Police and North Kyoga Regional Traffic Police have introduced measures for traffic management.
Addressing the media last week, Faridah Nampiima, Public Relations Officer of the Police traffic directorate said they are strengthening operations on speeding using the already deployed speed guns. She added that, “Carrying out operations on reckless driving and other offenses that are largely responsible for road carnage.”
In an exclusive interview with TND News weeks ago, Mathias Okwir, North Kyoga Regional Traffic Officer said they had started community sensitization. He added that road traffic offenders would be taken to Court and prosecuted.