Monday September 25 2017

9,000 die in accidents in three years

Police officers remove a car wreckage afte

Police officers remove car wreckages after an accident on the Kampala-Masaka road that claimed 13 lives last week. The new report indicates that deaths in accidents increased from 3,224 in 2015 to 3,503 in 2016. PHOTO BY SADAT MBOGO 

By ANDREW BAGALA

KAMPALA- At least 9,572 people have been killed in motor accidents in the last three years countrywide, a new report indicates.
According to Ministry of Works and Transport performance report of 2016/17, deaths on the road are on the rise despite the introduction of several interventions by the police and Uganda National Roads Authority to curb accidents.
“The fatalities...and trend has been the same for the last five years.

This rate of deaths as a result of accidents is alarming since the above statistics indicate that on average almost 10 persons die on Ugandan roads on a daily basis,” the report reads in part.
The report indicates that deaths in accidents rose from 3,224 in 2015 to 3,503 in 2016.
There were about 2,845 cases in 2014.

The report was released by the Minister of Works and Transport, Ms Azuba Ntege, last week.

In the same period, the report indicates that road traffic crashes reduced from 18,495 in 2015 to 14,474 in 2016.

This is the first time in three years that traffic statistics have been released officially at least by a government agency.
Since 2014, the police chief, Gen Kale Kayihura, has not released the annual crime and traffic safety report to the public.

Asked about why fatalities are on the increase, the spokesman of the police traffic and road safety directorate, Mr Charles Ssebambulidde, doubted the statistics released by the Ministry of Works and Transport saying they are registering lower numbers of fatalities.
“I don’t think there is an increase. Our statistics show a decrease. But to be sure, I need to crosscheck with our traffic statistician (Ms Betina Nalugo). I can’t comment on the specifics until I have read that report,” Mr Ssebambulidde said yesterday.
Police attribute most accidents to indiscipline on the road.

In June 2016, police established an operation dubbed Fika Salama (Arrive Safely) to tackle errant motorists, but it was allegedly used by traffic police officers to solicit bribes. This led to removal of 700 police officers from the Traffic and Road Safety Directorate.
Last week, 13 people were killed in an accident after a truck rammed into the Tanzania bound Coaster on the Kampala-Masaka road.

In the same week, Col David Katorogo, who was attached to Nakasongola Air Defence Unit, died in a motor accident at Kagavu Village on the Mityana-Mubende highway.

abagala@ug.nationmedia.com

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