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Yet again, Kassanda’s fatal road crash adds to the country’s upsetting statistics

Kassanda I A fatal road crash occurred on August 13 at around 3 am at Myanzi trading centre in Kassanda district – along the Mubende-Mityana highway.

Regrettably, SP Kawala Racheal, PRO of Wamala Region says “Four individuals lost their lives, and three others have sustained injuries.”

SP Kawala, in a press release, says preliminary investigations suggest that a black Fuso Fighter motor vehicle, registration UAY 415C, loaded with matooke and heading towards Kampala from Mubende, experienced a brake failure.

“The vehicle lost control and overturned, resulting in the instantaneous death of four occupants and injuring three,” she adds.

“At present, the identities of the deceased remain to be confirmed. The injured have been identified as follows: Nambusi Grace, 40, residing in Kikajo, Namasuba, Wakiso district, Bright Patrick, 34, a business person residing in Kibiri-Busabaala, Wakiso district.

Nadunga Lydia, 42, a businesswoman residing in Kalerwe, Kampala, also died.

The injured were taken to Mityana Hospital for necessary medical care, according to Kawala, adding that “Police have thoroughly documented and examined the scene of the incident. The bodies of the deceased have been transported to Kassanda Health Center IV mortuary, awaiting postmortem examinations.”

This tragic crash, according to Police, underscores the vital importance of responsible driving. “Drivers are reminded not only to operate their vehicles prudently but also to ensure the maintenance and functionality of critical systems such as brakes before embarking on their journeys.

“Our thoughts are with the victims and their families during this difficult time. Police urge all drivers to prioritize not only their safety but also that of their passengers and fellow road users.

Crash figures

While giving updates on road traffic occurrences on July 31 in Kampala, SP Kananura Micheal who’s the spokesperson for Traffic and Road Safety said 451 crashes were registered in July countrywide.

Also read Uganda’s global record: 79 die, 338 injured in July road crashes 

At least 79 people died, he said, adding that 77 crashes were fatal, 219 were serious, and 155 were minor.

“The crashes resulted in 417 victims, including 79 fatalities and 338 injuries,” SP Kananura added.

According to available data from the 2022 Annual Crime Report by Uganda Police Force, out of 100 crashes, 22 people died. The same Report also revealed that 61 per cent of all crashes that year were due to reckless driving.

A total of 20,394 crashes were recorded in 2022, and more than 17,443 were recorded in 2021. At least 12 deaths are recorded on Uganda’s roads every day, data shows.

“We call upon the members of the public to support traffic police to fight indiscipline on roads by reporting cases of indiscipline on roads,” Kananura urged the public last month.

To ensure compliance, Police announced in July that 1,287 motor vehicles were already deregistered across the country, and tasked owners to repair them before returning on the roads.

Another attempt to eradicate flourishing crashes

The government through the Ministries of Health, Works and Transport; Uganda Police Force, and UNRA have all agreed to the introduction of breathalyzers to reduce road traffic crashes.

In a letter dated August 11, 2023, Dr Henry Mwebesa, Director General of Health Services said Ugandans are the leading alcohol consumers in Africa and many individuals drive under the influence of alcohol.

Also read: Agroecology, a remedy to mycotoxins in Northern Uganda

“You will recall, due to Covid-19 in 2020, MOH advised against the use of breathalyzers, for fear of spreading Covid-19 in the process. It is sad to note that since then, Uganda has registered an increase in the number of Road Traffic Accidents (crashes) with 40% being fatal.”

According to Dr Mwebesa, crashes due to drunk driving can affect all road users including children, pedestrians and other drivers who are not drunk.

“Following the significant reduction of Covid-19 cases, the MOH has evaluated the risk of getting through breathalyzers and finds it very negligible. Besides, UPF has confirmed that each client will use a separate, sealed and disposable tube to blow through the breathalyzer.

“It is against this background, therefore, that the MOH recommends immediate reintroduction of breathalyzers to test alcohol levels consumed by motorists,” he added.

Dr Mwebesa believes that breathalyzers are a countermeasure against deaths due to road traffic crashes by drunk drivers.

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