KAMPALA- A section of road safety experts from different civil society organizations under their umbrella body of the Road Safety Coalition Uganda (ROSACU) have called upon road users especially motorists to be vigilant while using roads, in order to reduce road crashes.
ROSACU is a dynamic alliance of civil society organizations committed to advocating for road safety in Uganda.
It has a mission to create a unified voice for safer road environments, thus it’s engaging with stakeholders to raise awareness, drive policy changes, and promote behavioral shifts that enhance road safety for all road users.
This said the increasing number of road crashes have caused increased misery which has resulted in tragic losses of lives and property.
Three crashes that have left approximately 10 people dead have been registered since Sunday.
In response to this alarming trend, ROSACU is issuing a comprehensive advisory to address these challenges and foster a safer road environment for all.
“ROSACU urges all stakeholders to take these recommendations seriously and join hands in our collective effort to bring down the alarming rate of road crashes and fatalities. By working together, we can create a safer road environment for everyone,” the statement reads.
“We acknowledge the importance of a collective effort involving various stakeholders, including passengers, drivers, law enforcement, government bodies, and the public, to curb the rising number of road crashes,” they said in a statement.
“The coalition firmly believes that with enhanced awareness, responsibility, and collaboration, we can make significant strides towards preventing these senseless deaths and accidents,” they added.
ROSACU has proposed 10 measures that will reduce road carnage if they are implemented.
1. Passenger Empowerment: Police will conduct checkpoints to sensitize passengers on their role in road safety:
Empowering passengers to assertively address over-speeding concerns
Encouraging passengers to discourage drivers from using phones while driving
Advising passengers to ensure drivers adhere to a maximum of 8 hours driving per shift
2. Terminal Awareness Campaigns:
Creating awareness at Taxi and Bus terminals to educate passengers on their safety rights and responsibilities using Public addresses.
3. Driver Regulations: Enforcing strict limits on driving hours:
Drivers should not exceed 8 hours of continuous driving for both passenger and goods vehicles
Inter-state buses/trailers must have two designated drivers to prevent exhaustion-related crashes
4. Hotline for Reporting:
Introducing a dedicated hotline for passengers to report instances of speeding and erratic driving behavior.
5. Collaborative Action:
Government ministries (Works & Transport, Health), ROSACU, and stakeholders will collaborate to curb road crashes and ensure safety measures are implemented effectively.
6. Internal Checks for Operators: Taxi and bus operators should conduct internal checks to prevent crashes:
- Preventing drivers from driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs
- Monitoring driver fatigue and exhaustion
- Enforcing speed limits
7. Mechanical Condition:
Vehicles found to be in dangerous mechanical condition should be immediately clamped or parked until rectified.
8. Dangerous Goods Transportation:
Vehicles transporting hazardous items/materials should not be on the road for more than 2 hours at a stretch.
9. Load Limits and Inspection:
Vehicle carriers should adhere strictly to recommended load limits. Carriers must undergo regular inspections to ensure fitness for the purpose. Vehicle modification should stop immediately.
10. Victim Compensation and Support:
All victims and their families have the right to compensation and legal recourse against drivers responsible for crashes. The government should support victims in ensuring investigations are completed for justice, and insurance claims are fulfilled by the insurance industry.