Bring back road traffic operations

Kira Road traffic police officers check for defaulters of Express Penalty Scheme on August 22, 2022. PHOTO | ABUBAKER LUBOWA

What you need to know:

  • The issue: Road safety. 
  • Our view:  Do what you can with whatever you have to restore sanity on our roads this December and beyond.

Police have announced that the operation to crack down on errant motorists has been postponed countrywide. Mr Micheal Kananura, the spokesperson for traffic police, last Wednesday said the operation, which was targeting motorists without driving permits, expired driving permits, out-of-class permits, and riders without helmets has been rescheduled.

Police attributed this to the rainy season which they said had interrupted their operations but in the mini-survey conducted by this publication within Kampala City police stations showed that the operation was rescheduled because of express penalty service internet issues. That will be an issue of discussion for another day.

The festive season is upon us, a time when people eat life with a big spoon. At that, it is also a time when some people lose loved ones due to road carnage. Perhaps last year’s December had the highest crashes that Uganda has seen in recent years with 2,013 road accidents, of which 470 were fatal.

Between December 23 and December 26, a time when people travel to and from upcountry, 248 people were involved in accidents, an increase from 206 the previous year, according to police.

The police Annual Crime Report 2022 indicated that the entire year registered 20,394 crashes, out of which 3,901 were fatal, 10,776 were serious and 5,717 were minor.

This was an increase in fatalities by 16.9 percent from 2021, which had 3,757. “Overall, there was a 17 percent increase in the number of crashes reported in 2022 from 17,443 crashes in 2021 to 20,394 crashes in 2022,”the report indicated.

The major causes of these accidents under the police report included motor vehicles that were not in good condition, driving under influence of alcohol and drugs, careless or inconsiderate driving, using mobile phones while driving, overloading cars, not wearing seat belts, and speeding, among others.

As this year’s festive season kicks in, it is important that discipline is maintained on our roads. While there is hope that police will resume the operations, it is also every driver’s responsibility to drive safely, mindful of fellow drivers on the road.

In cases where there are errant drivers, they must be reported to law enforcement immediately. The law enforcers should also avoid letting offenders get away with the crime easily through corruption.

The issue of reducing road carnage is a collective responsibility. Do what you can with whatever you have to restore sanity on our roads this December and beyond.