Long distance truck drivers to attain training

By Wasswa Deo

Over 800 Tracks and Long commercial vehicle drivers are set to receive training in accordance with the East African Community standard curriculum for drivers  a move aimed at reducing accidents that mostly occurs due to human error.

This was announced during the launch of the professional driver training Uganda-project which will run for two years at the facility established in Mukono district.

Deo Kahiigwa who will be among the trainers says, the project will offer both theoretical and practical training to drivers.

According to the World Health Organization’s global status report on road safety 2015, road accidents claim an estimated 10280 lives in Uganda annual. This calls for improved training of drivers, including drivers of large commercial vehicles.

Boda Boda cyclists in Mbarara call for regulations in night operations

Boda boda motorists in Mbarara municipality are calling for restrictions and strict monitoring of their night operations. The boda boda motorists say thugs take advantage of their operations to attack them and innocent night commuters.

At least 17 boda boda cyclists have been killed and 11 others injured in Mbarara municipality since January this year. The cyclists are now engaging Police for possible intervention into the matter.

Ben Muhoozi, a boda boda cyclist, says the failure to regulate boda Boda operations may lead to disastrous consequences.

Alex Wamaye, another cyclist says that the current state of affairs is worrying. He asks the authorities to move fast and save the situation, saying currently anyone with a motorcycle can freely join the boda boda sector.

Alex Monday, another concerned boda boda cyclist says the unexplained disappearances of their colleagues are becoming the order of the day.

Mohamed Mpagi, the spokesperson Mbarara General Boda boda Association, says regulating the business will prevent more loss of lives. He wants the boda boda cyclists to ask the night commutters to identify themselves using their national identity cards or any other valid documents before they carry them for their own safety.

Robert Nabimanya, the Mbarara District Internal Security Officer, says some of the boda boda motorists operate in violation of the security guidelines that require them to always wear identification cards, reflectors and inform their stage chairpersons on their movements.

Mbarara District Police Commander, Jaffar Magyezi told URN that Police is already in touch with the management and association of the cyclists to ensure that their operations do not lead to loss of lives. He says police has also increased on its vigilance to ensure that all night operations are done within safe and secure environs.



Penalizing drivers will not reduce accidents – Transporters’ association

By Daudi Zirimala
The Regional Lorry Drivers and Transporters Association say penalizing errant drivers will not reduce road accidents. This comes weeks after Uganda National Roads Authority and traffic police launched operation Fika Salama with the aim of reducing the carnage along the Masaka highway.
Chairperson of Regional Lorry Drivers and Transporters Association Byron Kineene said say the real goal of the operation is to collect money from traffic law offenders. He says penalizing drivers will not change the situation but sensitization on proper road discipline  will.

Unknown man drowns in Lubigi channel

By Daudi Zirimala
Police in Nansana has retrieved a body of unknown man from who drowned in the Lubigi channel in the wee hours of the morning. According an  to eye witnesses, the man who was in his late 50s was seen collecting empty plastic bottles early in the morning but all of sudden he fell into the channel near the sewerage plant along northern by pass.
The rescue police swung into action immediately and retrieved the body which has been taken to Mulago hospital for postmortem as they wait for the relatives of the deceased

Increasing fatal accidents prompts MUK students to start a social media campaign dubbed #RegulateBodaBodas

Makerere University students have launched a social media campaign aimed generating a public debate on the operations of passenger motorcycle transport commonly known as bodaboda’s.

The campaign, launched on micro-blogging site – Twitter, seeks to compel the police and the Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) to reign in on what the students call recklessness of bodaboda cyclists.

Codenamed #RegulateBodabodas, the campaign comes hardly a week after Charity Komuhangi, a finalist student of Journalism at Makerere University died after being involved in a nasty accident. Kyomuhangi was on June 11, travelling on a bodaboda in Lungujja, a Kampala suburb when they were knocked by a car.  She and the bodaboda cyclist, Rogers Kavuma died five days later.

This is the second time in one year that Makerere Journalism department has lost a student in a bodaboda-related accident. In May 2015, John Kabugo, then in his third year of study, died just a week after being involved in an accident.

Last week, Makerere University lost another student, Julie Tumwesigye from the College of Business and Management Studies (COBAMS), who was also involved in a bodaboda-related accident on June 10.

Students think that a campaign of this nature could force KCCA and the police to take action. Davidson Ndyabahika, a former Guild Information Minister, says the move aims at demanding answers from police and KCCA on why there is no visible regulation of bodaboda cyclists on the roads.

Ndyabahika says they want to create creating awareness of the dangers of the passenger motorcycles and to establish “if there’s any measures put in place to regulate them.

Within hours of launching the campaign, comments started coming in with many asking KCCA to regulate bodaboda cyclists.

Godfrey Ssali, a journalism student using @godfreyssali21 said, “Nothing in Uganda best represents lawlessness and recklessness than these men (cyclists). He says the cyclists behave as if they are exempted from traffic regulations.

Blanshe Musinguzi (‏@Johnblanshe_m) says Uganda is experiencing urbanization and motorization hence the need to regulate transport and reduce accidents. He asks: “Why can’t the Uganda police arrest Bodaboda riders who disregard traffic lights or those who carry more than one passenger.”

Another comment came from Branson (@Branson97733186) who said passengers should take charge when travelling. “Don’t forget that you the passenger, you are the boss with your money… order them efficiently.”

In 2013, KCCA introduced guidelines to regulate bodaboda transport in the city. The guidelines include mandatory registration, training, use of official reflector jackets and helmets. Cyclists are also required to pay a monthly fee of 20,000 Shillings.

The cyclists are expected to register in the divisions where they operate, buy a prescribed colour of the reflector jacket and a helmet, undergo training in first aid and update their permits, before they can get identification numbers.

A 2011 report by Makerere University College of Health Sciences and the department of orthopedics at Mulago indicates that about 40 percent of trauma cases at the hospital are from boda-boda accidents.