It is going to be an extended weekend as Ugandans join Christians around the world to commemorate the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
With the festive mood in the air, many tend to travel to their villages to celebrate Easter with their loved ones. But this year’s celebrations come against a backdrop of increased cases of reported road accidents.
Just this week, scores were injured as a speeding truck rammed into the Luweero District National Water offices. The cause of the accident, according to the Luweero District Police Commander, was not readily established.
The week before that, the Uganda Red Cross Society manager in Jinja area, Mr Kenneth Kategaya, expressed worry over the increasing number of road accidents, saying they had responded to more than 16 accidents on the different highways within Busoga sub-region in two weeks.
The month before, at least 32 people were killed and five others injured in a road accident involving five vehicles on the Fort Portal-Kasese highway. And these are just among those that made it to the media.
So as you make those long journeys upcountry, please keep yourself and your loved ones safe, as you mind other road users.
Obeying the basic traffic laws and carrying your driving permit could be a beginning point. You do not want to spend the long weekend inside police cells and be arraigned before court on Tuesday morning as business around the country resumes.
It is tempting to try and get behind the wheels and drive around just because your relatives have travelled and have left a car at your disposal. You are a danger to yourself and others on the road, do not attempt to drive.
Remember to plan your route early and allow yourself enough time to reach the destination. The biggest cause of speeding and reckless driving is people being in a hurry to arrive at their destination because of poor planning. But remember this, it is better to arrive late, than not arrive at all.
And finally, make sure that your vehicle is in a roadworthy condition before departure. Many people drive around towns in cars in dangerous mechanical condition (DMC) and get by. But putting that DMC on the highway to travel more than 500kms is stretching it. Something is bound to break. It could be the car overheating, a tyre burst, a wheel locking up, or total brake failure.
In case it is too risky to travel, we can also commemorate the resurrection of Christ from wherever we are. We can live to travel another day.