UNRA Blames Drivers For Karuma Bridge Motor Accidents

Mark Ssali the Spokesperson of Uganda National Roads Authority told URN that much as Karuma is an old bridge, most of the accidents on this spot are often caused by the drivers by either driving recklessly or using mechanically dangerous vehicles.
Uganda National Roads Authority CEO, Allen Kagina.

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The Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) has blamed drivers on the increasing motor accident along Karuma Bridge Highway.

The statement comes barely a day following the Tuesday evening accident when a Fuso lorry with registration number UAS 994Y loaded with logs traveling from Lira town plunged into River Nile.

Mark Ssali, the Spokesperson of UNRA told URN on Wednesday that much as Karuma is an old bridge, most of the accidents on this spot are often caused by the drivers by either driving recklessly or using vehicles that are in mechanically dangerous state.

“ We have humps, road signs and rumble streets on both sides as you approach the bridge and drivers are supposed to slow down when they get there, but people still drive very fast and yet it's been raining and you cannot break very easily," said Ssali.

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Ssali says UNRA has found out that driver behavior is causing more motor accidents than the structural design of roads.

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UNRA on Wednesday deployed a team of Engineers from three directorates including roads maintenance, roads and bridges and network designing those in charge roads and bridges designing to investigate and assess the magnitude of damages caused on the Bridge by the Tuesday accident.

“ We have dispatched a team of engineers from three technical departments to assess the level of damages and come out with immediate measures. As of now, we can't say much until the technical team assessment,” he added.

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ASP Charles Okello, Kiryandongo District Police Commander told URN that reckless driving and operating dangerously mechanical conditioned vehicles are often the cause of most roads accidents on this stretch. He said although the road is narrow road, several drivers take advantage of the smooth highway to over speed.

Joseph Okello, a taxi operator along Lira-Kamdini via Karuma to Bweyale said some accidents occur as a result of over speeding by errant drivers, a bigger percentage on this stretch usually occurs as a result of narrow road.

Okello says the protection rails on the bridge is quite low and it cannot support or protect a vehicle that has lost control from plunging in to the water.

But Bosco Oguta, a Lorry driver who operates on the Lira-Kampala Highway, asked UNRA to consider installing adequate road signs. He equally wants the Karuma bridge to be reconstructed with the overhead rails that can protect the vehicle from plunging into the water like the one at the Pakwach Bridge.

Built in 1963, Karuma Bridge sits on the River Nile and it connects the Greater Northern Uganda with both Western and Central part of the Uganda.  

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