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2,000 killed in road carnage over the last six months

KAMPALA, (UG): A police report by the Traffic and Road Safety Directorate indicates that road accidents across the country have killed 2042 people over the last six months.

The figure translates into a 2.4 percent increase compared to the same period in 2022 where 1,994 people lost their lives in the road carnage.

“According to our statistics so far, we are halfway down the year. We have registered 2,042 road crashes and those are fatal. We have lost 2,042 people,” Ms. Pamella Kentaro, the Traffic Directorate legal officer said while appearing on a local TV station over the weekend.

According to her, details collected over the last six months are overwhelming as road crashes registered across the country also increased by 12.8 percent (11,312 in (January to July 2023) compared to 10,025 accidents in (January to July) 2022.

The report further indicates that of these, 6,037 were categorized as serious accidents while 3,233 were minor accidents where occupants walked away unhurt, but their vehicles or properties were damaged.

This means there was also an increase in incidents in both categories compared to last year in the same period with serious accidents increasing by 12.7 percent to 6,037 from 5,358 last year and minor accidents rising to 3,233 from 2,673 in last year’s first six months.

Ms. Kentaro said the majority of the victims in the accidents were males below 49 years of age, who she categorized as being the breadwinners of their families, and that their incapacitation or death leaves a big financial gap to dependents.

Measures to curb road accidents

Such an increase in road accidents has pushed regulators of road usage to revive operations such as Fika Salama and Kawunyemu (Breathalyzer) to curb the deaths on the road.

In a statement last week, the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) warned road users and indicated that they would use police CCTV cameras to enforce discipline on the Entebbe expressway, which has not been spared either by the new enforcement.

“Please be informed that enforcement operations targeting traffic offenders [on speed limits and lane usage] are starting soon on Kampala-Entebbe Expressway—also called ‘Fika Salaama Extra’. The police are set to utilize their ICT infrastructure to facilitate the exercise,” UNRA said in a statement.

In the same month of August, The Ministry of Health Director General, Dr. Henry Mwebesa urged for the reintroduction of operations against drink-driving after the hospitals received an increase in road accident victims.

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