The Minister of Works and Transport, Gen. Edward Katumba has directed police to become stricter on users who violate traffic regulations and guidelines as the country enters the festive season and the forthcoming 2021 general election.
“The upcoming festive season occurs during the political campaign period and therefore extreme caution must be exercised. We want to see a reduction in accidents that can be largely avoidable. For this reason, I direct the traffic Police and other stakeholders to increase strict enforcement on the roads during this season, through the special Operation ‘Fika Salaama’ that curbed traffic offences. Only then shall we change the behaviour on the road,” Gen. Katumba said.
The Minister was on Thursday speaking at the launch of the third National Road Safety Summit at Kampala Serena Hotel.
Katumba appealed to Ugandans to join the fight against irresponsible road use in the country, especially during the upcoming festive season.
The National Road Safety Summit is one of the various stakeholder engagements sponsored by Vivo Energy Uganda as the Ministry of Works and Transport marks its annual National Road Safety week.
This year’s event runs under the theme “Road Safety for Prosperity.”
Speaking at the function, the minister lauded Vivo Energy Uganda and partners for continuously championing various road safety initiatives to promote behavioral change and safer road use in Uganda.
The Managing Director of Vivo Energy Uganda, Gilbert Assi said urged road users to always be cautious in whatever they do while on the road, or else they would lead to accidents.
“According to the World Health Organisation, human error is the leading cause of most road accidents. Together with the support and commitment of all key stakeholders present and in line with our theme, we seek to encourage everybody to personalise the fight against human error as a common vice and renowned leading cause of the majority of road accidents. This is because we believe that road safety is a shared objective,”Assi said.
“Speak up, in the event that you notice irresponsible behavior on the road, to save lives.”
The Director of Traffic and Road Safety at the Uganda Police Force, Bazil Mugisha, reported a 0.4% increase in the number of crashes reported, from 12,805 in 2018 to 12,858 in 2019.
Of these, he said 3,407 were fatal, 5,992 were serious and 3,459 were minor accidents.
“Similarly, there was a 5% increase in the total number of persons killed in 2019 with motorcyclists and their passengers and pedestrians forming the largest number of casualties,”Mugisha said.
The Police director decried the high level of crashes, owing them to irresponsible behavior and excitement among motorists while on the road, especially during the festive season.