A total of 1,021 boda boda riders have been killed in accidents on Ugandan roads in the past nine months, Traffic Police have said.
According to the Traffic Police spokesperson, ASP Faridah Nampiima, the 1,021 riders were killed in a period between January and September in various accidents on Ugandan roads.
“Whereas we had 1021 riders killed in accidents, we also had 401 passengers killed in these accidents,”Nampiima said.
This means at least 110 boda boda riders were killed every month.
The figure is almost above the 1918 people killed in the whole year according to the 2021 Annual Crime and Traffic/Road Safety report which meant that five people were killed daily in accidents involving boda bodas.
The report also indicates that a total of 2393 people sustained injuries due to accidents caused by boda boda cyclists.
Boda bodas riders are accused by other motorists of exhibiting indiscipline while on the road.
Most of the riders move recklessly on the road and disregard traffic regulations which has led to a number of accidents.
Police recently launched an operation to crackdown on errant boda boda cyclists in a bid to bring sanity on Ugandan roads.
According to the Traffic Police spokesperson, in a period of eight days since last week, a total of 12217 boda bodas have been impounded during operations countrywide.
She revealed that 10167 of these were issued with express penalty scheme tickets and allowed to continue with their journeys.
“The operations will continue until we realise the discipline on the road by boda bodas has improved. We shall continue targeting those without reflector jackets and crash helmets,”Nampiima said.
She explained the rationale behind targeting crash helmets and reflector jackets noting that most riders have died because of crashing their heads on the road after being involved in accidents.
The traffic police spokesperson said such deaths could have been avoided if the riders had crash helmets on their heads.
Nampiima added that reflector jackets ensure the riders are visible by other oncoming motorists to avoid accidents.
She however scoffed at critics of the operations against the operations targeting boda bodas riders, saying everything being done is meant to enforce Ugandan traffic rules and regulations.
"This country has laws that need to be complied with. I don't think anyone criticizing our operations will be happy with the figures that show 1021 riders dead in nine months after crashing their heads for having no helmets and 401 passengers killed during the same period. Anyone who wants to take us to court is free to do so but we have laws to enforce,"Nampiima said.