Road crashes claim 83 lives in eight days

Works and Transport Minister Gen Katumba Wamala addresses journalists in Kampala on December 20, 2022. PHOTO/ISAAC KASAMANI

What you need to know:

  • The accidents, which claimed the life of a Member of Parliament, also left at least 297 seriously injured.

At least 83 people have perished in road accidents in last eight days, the minister of Works and Transport has revealed.

While addressing journalists yesterday, Gen Katumba Wamala revealed that 360 accidents have been registered in the last eight days, claiming 83 lives, including those of Serere Member of Parliament Patrick Okabe and his wife who died on Monday on Mbale-Tirinyi road.

“In the last few days, 360 road crashes were registered, 71 of which were fatal and 202 serious. These claimed 83 lives and 297 were seriously injured,” Gen Katumba said in Kampala.

“My ministry and Uganda Police Force are investigating the crashes and a detailed report will be availed soon after completion of the investigation,” he added.

Among the recent major fatal accidents is one of December 18 where three occupants of a Toyota Fielder died on spot after a head-on collision with an Isuzu bus belonging to Global Coaches Limited on Kampala-Masaka highway.

On the same day, a boda boda rider died in an accident involving a bus belonging to YY Coaches Limited on Nakalam-Tirinyi road.

According Gen Katumba, preliminary findings indicate that the recent road crashes were a result of speeding, reckless overtaking and slippery roads as a result of heavy rain.

In a bid to curb the rampant road accidents ahead of Christmas season, the ministry of Transport and traffic police issued new guidelines, which are intended to prevent speeding, drink driving and driving without a valid license, among others.

The drivers who commit serious offences will be arrested or detained for two hours to be sensitised about traffic laws.

Police will ensure that all drivers involved in crashes have their fingerprints taken and tested for alcohol.

All long route passenger service vehicles are not allowed to make return journeys during the festive season.

All abandoned or broken down vehicles on the road will be removed at the owner’s cost.

Speaking at the same press conference, the traffic police spokesperson, Ms Faridah Nampiima, said all motor vehicle drivers must have a pair of reflector triangles for use in case their vehicles suffer mechanical failure.

“Before you put any vehicle on the road, make sure you have a pair of the triangular reflector such that in case of a mechanical breakdown, you are able to put it at least 100ft behind and in front of the broken down vehicle,” Ms Nampiima said.

She added: “The use of tree branches to show an obstacle ahead should stop with immediate effect because they are not good to our roads. Failure to have the reflectors will attract an express fee of Shs100,000.”