Passenger Apathy Fueling Reckless Driving

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Reckless driving and over speeding remain the main cause of traffic accidents in Uganda, the police have said.

Stephen Kasiima, the police commissioner in charge of traffic, says a total of 16,144 accidents have been reported since the year began. He estimates that 70 percent of these accidents were caused by reckless driving.

Kasiima says the police hopes to reduce the number of road accidents by 20 percent by the end of this year, but playing strategic road signs and reflectors. He however says the largest responsibility for road safety is in the hands of motorists.

Kasiima adds that passengers of public commuter transport must demand better services from taxi and bus drivers. He says the silence surrounding poor driving fuels the increase in traffic accidents.

Several passengers in the Kampala taxi parks admitted to Uganda Radio Network that they are often hesitant to call the drivers to order. They said sometimes they are split between a desire to rush to their destinations and the need for safety on the roads.

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Last year 563 people died in traffic accidents in Kampala.

According to the police unless there is a change in the current state of affairs, this number of fatalities could increase.

The traffic report from Gulu district for the first half of 2007 indicates that 37 people were killed in road accidents from January to June.

Gaudensio Nyero, the Gulu traffic boss, says the accidents in the district are higher during the 4pm to 7pm rush hour. He urges drivers to be sensitive to the increase in pedestrians and motorists on the roads and to carefully observe the speed limits in the town.