Monday, 18 August 2014


Seven killed, 20 injured in Nakasongola accident

The wreckage of a bus that was involved in an accident

The wreckage of a bus that was involved in an accident on the Kampala-Gulu highway in Nakasongola District yesterday. Seven people are reported to have died and 20 others sustained serious after two buses collided at Sasira. PHOTO BY DAN WANDERA  
By Dan Wandera & Job Bwire

Posted  Tuesday, August 19  2014 at  01:00
In Summary
The Savanah region police spokesperson said the accident was a result of speeding.

KAMPALA- Seven people have been killed and 20 others critically injured after two buses collided at Sasira Nakasongola District along Kampala-Gulu High way yesterday.
The accident occurred after a Gaaga bus heading to Kampala from Arua collided with a KK bus heading to Arua.
The Savannah regional police spokesperson, Mr Lameck Kigozi, confirmed the accident, attributing it reckless driving.
“Seven people died on the spot, including the driver of the Gaaga bus. About 20 are in a critical condition. They were rushed to Nakasongola Air Defence Division Hospital for medication,” he said.
Identifying the dead
However, Mr Kigozi further said police are still trying to identify the dead and the injured .
An eye witnesses, Mr Fred Lwata told Daily Monitor that the driver of the Gaaga bus was speeding and this could have caused the accident.
“Gaaga bus from Arua was speeding. As he tried to overtake another vehicle, he saw the KK bus approaching in the opposite direction but it was too late for him to avoid a head on collision,” said Mr Lwata.
Bus accidents
On July 19, 2013, at least 28 students of St Theresa Girls’ Secondary School in Masindi were injured in an accident after the bus they were traveling in overturned at Bamusuuta Village in Kakooge Sub County in Nakasongola district.
Another bus belonging to Swift Safari Bus Company overturned three times at Kaddugala Village, a few Kilometers off Masaka Town leaving 31 critically injured in October 2013.

Ntinda road accident leaves several cars damaged

Uganda named among countries with high road accident rates

By Sarah Tumwebaze

Posted  Sunday, March 17   2013 at  02:00
In Summary
The health body says country has high accident rates compared to Kenya and Tanzania.
Uganda is one of the African countries with the highest rate of road accidents, a World Health Organisation report on road safety says.
The Global Status Report on Road Safety 2013, indicates that Uganda had 2,954 deaths in 2010 as a result of road accidents, Nigeria had 4,065 while South Africa registered the highest number at 13,768 by 2009.
“While Ethiopia, Kenya, and Tanzania have relatively low (for the region) road fatality rates, Nigeria, South Africa, and Uganda combine big populations with very high fatality rates, resulting in large numbers of deaths,” the report says.
“These countries must reduce their road deaths considerably if the region is to realise a significant reduction in deaths,” it adds.
However, in an interview with this newspaper on Friday, Kampala Metropolitan Traffic Police Commander, Mr Lawrence Niwabiine, said the statistics that were used in the report are old.
“According to last year’s statistics, Uganda had reduced accidents by 10 per cent and we expect to improve because we have now stepped up the enforcement of the law with the use of breathalyzers which will reduce accidents in urban centres.”
“We are also working at reducing accidents along the highways and this will be achieved with the deployment of officers with speed guns.”
A press statement from WHO notes that only 28 countries, covering seven per cent of the world’s population, have comprehensive road safety laws on five key risk factors of drink driving, speeding, failing to use motorcycle helmets, seat-belts, and child restraints.
The report comes days after police moved to arrest drunk pedestrians.
Mr Niwabiine said pedestrians will be arrested for drink-walking to curb what traffic police say are people endangering their own lives and those of other road users.
Uganda’s traffic law is laid down in the Traffic and Road Safety Act of 1998 and it explains the different traffic regulations.
While delivering the report, WHO director general Margaret Chan said, “Political will is needed at the highest level of government to ensure appropriate road safety legislation and stringent enforcement of laws by which we all need to abide.”
“If this cannot be ensured, families and communities will continue to grieve, and health systems will continue to bear the brunt of injury and disability due to road traffic crashes.”

Five killed in Kampala-Masaka road accident

By Patrick Jaramogi
An ordinary Sunday afternoon turned dark when five people died on spot and several others survived with injuries in a road accident along Kampala-Masaka highway in Mpigi district.
The horrific accident involved three vehicles; a commuter taxi (Hiace), a trailer and a Toyota Noah car.
The reportedly overloaded commuter taxi was heading to Masaka from Kampala but the journey was cut short about 30 kilometers away at Kammengo in a head-on collision with the trailer registration number KAX574S.
Eyewitnesses said the crash occurred at about 2.30pm local time.
Five of the passengers died immediately and the other 15 escaped with broken limbs. The bodies of the dead were loaded onto a waiting police pick-up vehicle and driven off to Gombe hospital.
The survivors were rushed to Mulago hospital in Kampala and the wreckage of the taxi, which was reduced to scrap material, was hauled to Kammengo police post.

Unconfirmed reports indicated that four of the survivors died on their way to Mulago hospital back in Kampala.
But deputy police spokesperson Judith Nabakooba said they [police] could only confirm the deaths of the five who were killed on spot.
“According to our officers at the scene, we have got reports that five people have died on spot. We are still gathering more information,” she said earlier.
Moments before the collision, the driver of the Toyota Noah car intentionally swerved off the road to avoid ramming into the trailer which was a few feet in front of him.
The driver of the Toyota, Nathan Katende, a resident of Lungujja in Kampala, survived with minor arm injuries.
The cause of the accident had not been established by press time but according to the Mpigi district head of traffic, Edson Twebaze, the driver of the commuter taxi was driving recklessly.
To make it worse, the taxi was overladen with 20 passengers yet that kind of vehicle is licensed to carry a maximum 14 passengers.
Sula Mubiru, a boda boda motorist who witnessed the horror, said the “taxi heading to Masaka rammed into a lorry heading to Kampala.”
According to the OC Traffic Inspector, Buwama Twebaze, the taxi was overtaking at a “dangerous spot” when it rammed head-on into the trailer.
Twabaze said the identities of the dead were yet to be established.
In a related incident along the same highway, a commuter taxi knocked dead a boda boda motorist.

Road Safety Issues in Uganda

The road sector is ultimately the most important mode of transportation in Uganda as it carries 97% of freight cargos and 99% of the passenger traffics. As the population rapidly grows, the number of vehicles on the roads has been simultaneously increasing. Between 2000 and 2010, the number of vehicles in Uganda increased from 300,000 to 800,000, along with the number of deaths due to traffic accidents. Today, Uganda has the second highest rate of road accidents in Africa and the world after Ethiopia. According to the World Health Organization’s Global Status Report on Road Safety 2013, Uganda is named among countries with alarmingly high road accident rates. If such trend of traffic accidents continues to increase, the health losses from traffic injuries may be ranked as the second to HIV/AIDS by 2020.

Traffic Accidents Rate
The number of traffic accidents has been greatly increasing every year. As shown in the table below, the number of road accidents has greatly increased from 19,867 accidents in 2007 to 22,272 accidents in 2011, while the deaths from such incidents rose from 2,597 in 2007 to 3,343 in 2011. The number of fatalities in Uganda is quite high compared to other African countries, as the road traffic accident death rate is 10.1 per 100,000 populations. In 2011, the total number of vehicles involved in crashes was 35,716. Cars accidents were most involved in road traffic accidents with 12,095 cars (33%), while there were 8,743 motorcycles (24.5%).

Annual Road Traffic Accidents 2007 – 2011

(Source: Uganda Police Force Report 2011)

Considering the high fatality rate from traffic accidents, such road Safety issues must be considered as one of the major health issues in Uganda. Road safety is a predominant subject that must be taken into account by every individual, as it not only affects the driver and passengers of the relevant vehicles, but also victimizes motorcyclists, pedal cyclists, and even the pedestrians. According to the Uganda Police Force, pedestrians were the largest casualty class killed accounting for 39.2% of all casualties followed by passengers at 29.3 percent in 2011. The majority of the accidents occur in the Kampala Metropolitan area due to the rapid increase in traffic, presence of motor vehicles, population, and especially the use of commercial motorcycle Boda-Bodas.

In addition, the traffic accidents that occur across the nation also greatly influence Uganda’s economic growth as well. According to the Works Minister, Eng. Abaraham Byandala, road accidents ultimately hinder Uganda’s development and the efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, as the country loses approximately Shs 800 billions per year due to traffic accidents. In addition to the emotional losses suffered by the related individuals, there are great financial burdens due to the extortionate cost of treatment in hospitals, investigation of the accidents, and etc. Such expenditure of money ultimately hinders the development in the long term as the money could have been utilized for other human service deliveries, both by the government and the individuals.

There are various matters that contribute to the causes of traffic accidents in Uganda. According to the Uganda Police Force, the majority of the accidents are due to the careless and reckless/dangerous driving, as they amount to 38.9% of road accidents in 2011. The human factors, such as careless driving, reckless driving, over speeding, over loading, careless pedestrians, operating under the influence of alcohol and drugs, and passenger falling from vehicles, contributed to more than 80 percent of road accidents. In addition, the majority of the motor vehicles in Uganda are generally the imported second-handed cars that are already in poor conditions with no clear mechanisms to inspect vehicles on a regular basis.

As noted in the Uganda Police Force Report of 2011, there have been great efforts to reduce such alarming numbers of road accidents by increasing police presence on the roads and enforcement of traffic regulations, however, such efforts may not be fully accomplished without the infrastructure improvements of the roads by the relevant authorities. Not only are the road users blamed for lack of proficient skills and knowledge to operate on roads, but the relevant authorities of the roads are also to be accountable for the high rate of road accidents as well. As the current road structures in Uganda do not meet the needs of increased traffic flows, the relevant authorities must seek to mend such issues. In addition, the two outmoded Ugandan laws of Roads Act of 1949 and Access to Roads Act of 1969 ultimately contributes to such high rate of traffic accidents as well. As suggested in the current study of URSSI, the extension of the road width should be increased to at least 40 meters from 15 meters in order to allow for easy maneuver in case of accidents.

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