KAMPALA – In the span of one week, from 16th to 23rd July 2023, the Directorate of Traffic and Road Safety in Uganda recorded a concerning total of 222 accidents involving Boda-Bodas. Among these accidents, 57 proved fatal, while 146 were deemed serious. The toll of tragedy was harsh, with 19 passengers and 38 riders losing their lives, and 99 riders and 47 passengers sustaining severe injuries.
SP Michael Kananura, the department spokesperson, addressed the rising issue, emphasizing the urgency of immediate attention to curb the escalating Boda-Boda accidents. To address the problem at its roots, the Directorate introduced a set of crucial road safety guidelines for both Boda-Boda riders and passengers:
Helmets: Making it mandatory for all riders and passengers to wear appropriate crash helmets, ensuring enhanced safety.
Reflective Jackets: Encouraging the use of reflective gears to significantly increase visibility, especially during low-light conditions.
One Passenger Rule: Strictly enforcing the policy of carrying only one passenger per ride, to maintain stability and safety.
Riding Permits: Requiring all Boda-Boda operators to possess valid riding permits, certifying their competence on the roads.
Sober Driving: Prohibiting riders from operating under the influence of alcohol or drugs, ensuring complete alertness while driving.
SP Kananura announced that the Directorate had commenced phase one of operations, targeting crash helmets and reflective jackets. The response from Boda-Boda riders to this awareness campaign has been encouraging. Buoyed by this progress, the department is now embarking on phase two, focusing on the verification of riding permits.
SP Kananura sternly warned that any rider found without a valid permit would face legal consequences and be taken to court. He reassured the public that sensitization efforts would continue to stress the importance of helmets, reflective gear, and valid permits for all Boda-Boda operators. He urged passengers to prioritize their safety when hiring a rider, insisting on the presence of a helmet and reflective jacket and verifying the rider’s permit before boarding.
To ensure an overall improvement in Boda-Boda safety on the roads, the Inspectorate of Vehicles (IOV) conducted rigorous testing, evaluating 1077 riders to ensure they meet the required standards.
For further assistance in promoting road safety, SP Kananura urged the public to report any traffic violations they witness to the Toll-free number: 0800199099.
The Directorate’s campaign seeks to instill responsible driving practices in Boda-Boda riders, ultimately leading to a safer and more secure road environment for everyone in Uganda. With concerted efforts and public vigilance, the menace of Boda-Boda accidents can be effectively curbed, making the roads safer for all.
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