Police blame tyre bursts on lockdown car parking

Residents and first responders at the scene in Migyera, Nakasongola District, where a taxi overturned killing three people on the spot on May 17. Photo / Courtesy

What you need to know:

  • On May 17, a driver lost control of the taxi after a tyre burst prompting the vehicle to overturn and kill three people at Migyera Town Council in Nakasongola District.

The Uganda Police Force has revealed that the quality of tyres of many vehicles is the cause of the spike in traffic accidents on the highways.

The spokesperson of the Directorate of the Police Traffic and Road Safety, Ms Faridah Nampiima, said their investigations show that tyre bursts were high because most vehicles had been parked for long during the lockdown.

“Our investigations have found that tyres of cars that were parked for long during the lockdown were damaged. Many motorists didn’t check on their tyres when the economy reopened. It is one of the causes of accidents,” Assistant Superintendent of Police Nampiima said.

The damage of the tyres after long inactivity is called tyre spotting. The part of the tyres that touch the ground is affected due to the vehicle weight and weather.

Between February and June, there were at least seven major accidents attributed to tyre bursts. At least 25 people were killed.

In May, the traffic officers and inspector of vehicles started an investigation into the quality of tyres on the vehicles and those sold in shops.

The teams looked at the make of the tyres, expiry dates and quality.

The investigation was established after six major accidents on the highways.

However, human error and carelessness are still the highest contributors of accidents.

In March 2020, government locked down public transport to contain the spread of Coronavirus until June 2020. There was also another lockdown in June 2021 to January 2022.

The lockdown went on for nearly six months. Most vehicles, especially those in public transport, were parked.

Ms Nampiima said motorists, who have parked their vehicles for long, should take them to mechanics to check their mechanical conditions before embarking on any journey.

On July 9 at Kalule on Gulu Highway, nine people were killed in an accident after a taxi tyre burst.

On May 17, a driver lost control of the taxi after a tyre burst prompting the vehicle to overturn and kill three people at Migyera Town Council in Nakasongola District.

Road accidents and deaths have continued to increase. At least 17,000 crashes were registered in 2021 compared to 12,000 in 2020. At least 4,159 people were killed in those crashes last year compared to 3,663 registered in 2020.

Traffic records for the last six months also show high number of accidents.

In May, 40,760 traffic cases were registered, which is way above the monthly average of 28,000 incidents last year.

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