Last Updated on: 17th July 2023, 01:10 pm
Oyam I At least five people died on Sunday, July 16 after a drone taxi they were travelling in from Mbale City to Lira City overturned in Agwata forest along Soroti-Lira highway.
A source said via an audio recording that the driver, who also died, was overtaking another taxi from the wrong side.
James Oboli – a lecturer of Fine Art – Faculty of Education at All Saints University Lango (ASUL) succumbed to injuries at Lira Regional Referral Hospital where he was rushed for medical care.
Late in the day – at least 16 people died in Nyasheke village, Kyenjonjo district when a taxi carrying them collided with a lorry. The fatal crash happened around 8:40 pm along Fort Portal-Hoima road.
The territorial Police confirmed the death of 16 people.
Uganda’s effort to curb road crashes has intensified in recent years, with the latest incidents claiming the lives of high-profile people.
Since the month begun, at least two prominent people have died – including others on record. On July 8, the former Erute North MP, Charles Angiro Gutumoi died on spot in a fatal crash near Ayago Bridge along Karuma-Pakwach Road.
Angiro died with two others, all of whom were travelling for a traditional marriage in Nebbi district.
On July 8, Uganda’s businessman Apollo Nyagamehe – widely known as Aponye died in an Itojo road crash. He died after his car collided with a stationary lorry. Aponye and his driver were heading to Rukiga district in Western Uganda.
Following the death of Aponye, and other Ugandans, the Speaker of Parliament, Anita Among called a special meeting with stakeholders to address the road plague.
In a meeting held on July 13, officials from Uganda Police (traffic and road safety department), UNRA and Ministry of Works and Transport all attended.
The meeting resolved, among others, that an immediate implementation of enforcement of relevant laws and regulations start.
Two, whereas the Traffic and Road Safety Act of 1998 has attendant regulations that have aided its operationalization, the Road Act of 2019 which addresses various aspects of road safety, does not have regulations.
It was thus agreed that there is a need for regulations to operationalise sections 57, 58 and 59 on the towering and auctioning of abandoned or broken down automobiles on carriageways.
The Ministry of Works and Transport was directed to expedite the development of regulations to operationalize the Road Act of 2019.
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Further, stakeholders agreed that there is a need for stringent enforcement and increased sensitization of road users on compliance with speed limits, additionally agreeing on the need to reintroduce speed governors in all vehicles to regulate speeding.
On the medium-term intervention, the Thursday meeting resolved and directed periodic mandatory vehicle inspections. The Police are to be responsible.
“It is painful to comprehend the news of the perishing of over 15 lives in a road accident that occurred at the weekend in Kagadi and Kamdini areas alone,” Anita Among said on Monday.
“Like I keep saying, these accidents are avoidable if we all exercise extra caution on our roads. I implore all the stakeholders to implement to the dot, the legal requirements and measures we adopted in our last meeting to curb this scourge,” she added.
What you have to know
The Uganda Police Annual Crime Report of 2022 indicates that 20,394 crashes were recorded – significantly higher than 17,443 in 2021. The report also shows that out of every 100 traffic crashes – 22 people died that year.
In the same year, 4,534 people died, 15,227 got serious injuries and 1,712 obtained minor injuries.
At least 61 per cent of the crashes were attributed to reckless driving.