The traffic police in partnership with Uganda National Roads Authority and Works and Transport Ministry Two weeks ago launched an operation code named Fika Salaama (arrive safely) aimed at promoting safety on the road and reminding road users of their obligation towards observing the traffic and road safety guidelines.
Road accidents in West Nile region have killed 108 people and injured 591 others since the beginning of the year 2016.
Police in the region have registered 373 cases of road accidents between January and July, according to Josephine Angucia, the police spokesperson for north western region.
Angucia says 91 of the accidents were fatal. She adds that most of the cases registered were as a result of recklessness, over speeding and use of vehicles in dangerous mechanical condition.
Arua district alone registered the highest number of accidents with 100 cases of which 32 were fatal. In these 33 people were killed and 143 others injured.
Nebbi followed with 79 cases in which 29 people lost their lives while 136 others sustained injuries. In Zombo district 48 accidents were registered with eight deaths and 136 injury cases. Koboko district registered 42 cases including nine fatal ones in which nine people died and 58 others were injured, while Adjumani registered 48 accidents including six ones that claimed six people and injured 23.
Others are Maracha district with 28 cases that claimed seven people and injured 22; Yumbe 25 cases and four deaths and Moyo with 10 cases and five deaths.
Angucia says accidents occur daily and police issue culprits with express penalty tickets, while the grave offenses are referred to court for law to prevail.
Safi Alema Tiyo, the chairman Arua boda boda association says much as boda boda riders are blamed for some of the accidents, even pedestrians carry the blame since some of them are careless in using the road.
Alema also blames people who acquire machines for personal use and end up causing accidents yet they are not known as boda boda riders. He admitted that, many riders still don’t understand the traffic laws, road signs and they lack permits.
Pamela Letiru, a pedestrian observed that the high speed by boda boda cyclists and drivers scares pedestrians while crossing the road. She appeals to police to control high speed and ensure road safety to clear the fears in pedestrians.
More than 200 people have perished in Masaka Road accidents since the start of this year. In addition, scores have been left with serious injuries and Police have arrested over 136 drivers on Kampala –Masaka Road in a bid to address the increasing number of accidents
Ms Namaye said other drivers have been arrested over careless driving, dangerous loading, diving without a badge (for bus drivers), having no third party insurance, failing to stop, failing to comply, driving numberless cars, no rental license, and interference.
The police encouraged drivers to have in possession photocopies of their driving permits or the provisional ones especially for Boda Boda riders ahead of the pending traffic operations in Kampala Metropolitan area.
Last month, police in Kampala impounded over 10000 motorcycles for pillion driving, poor mechanical conditions, lack of crash helmets and driving permits. The police collected over Shs200m from fines and clearances.