Kampala Minister Beti Kamya has applauded the management of Safe Boda Company for what he termed as redeeming the bad image of boda boda riders throughout the country.
Speaking at the Safe Boda bi-annual community party at the Lugogo Cricket Oval on Sunday where she was the chief guest, Kamya said in the past, boda boda riders were known to be hooligans and not following traffic regulations.
“You(Safe Boda) have shown us that the boda boda industry can be redeemed. I applaud you for giving the boda boda industry a face unlike before,”Kamya said.
“In the past, boda boda riders were known to be thieves and all sorts of hooligans but this has changed.”
The Kampala Minister said that since the coming up of Safe Boda, many other people have borrowed the idea to start their own company.
She said that is energizing that boda boda riders currently contribute to the growth of the city and the country’s economy at large through taxes, noting that all this is courtesy of Safe Boda Company.
Ricky Papa Thompson, the Ugandan co-founder of Safe Boda Company however asked government to consider putting in place special lanes to be used by only motorists while on the road to reduce on accidents.
Papa said on many occasions their riders have been knocked dead by other motorists stressing that putting in place special motorcycle lanes will solve the problem.
“We need to be recognized and supported by government. We ask that government creates lanes specifically for boda bodas to avoid accidents. Even at traffic lights, there should be a provision for boda bodas because on many occasions we have been knocked dead by other motorists who don’t respect us,” Papa said.
“In other countries, cyclists have their own separate lanes. The same should be introduced here.”
The Safe Boda co-founder also asked that fees for motorcycle permits be reduced because it is too much and cannot be afforded by most motorists.
“Government should start looking at us as one of the people contributing to the economy. We pay taxes and also employ a big number of people as we help in solving the unemployment problem.”
However in response, Ronald Amanyire, the Secretary, National Road Safety Council in the Ministry of Works said the ministry is in talks with their colleagues from Finance to see fees for permits for motorcycles are reduced.
Kampala Minister Beti Kamya said it is now a policy that every new road constructed has a special lane for motorists but warned that drivers who violate the lanes will face the wrath of the law.
“Vehicles driving in the motorcycle lanes are breaking the law and enforcement will deal with them.”
Started in 2014 with only 20 riders, Safe Boda company now boasts of over 8000 riders and has also expanded to Nairobi ,Kenya.