At least four people are killed every day in boda-boda accidents across the country, according to the 2021 Police annual crime, traffic, and road safety report, which recorded 4,159 road accident fatalities.
Of the total fatalities, about 1,390 involved motorcycle riders, while 528 were passengers on motorcycles.
This translates to about four people dying from boda-boda accidents every day and about 116 every month.
“Motorcycles have become a menace on the road. When you register five accidents a day, four involve motorcycles,” Faridah Nampiima, the police traffic Spokeswoman, said.
Most of these accidents are the result of reckless driving, as most riders were found without permits, riding motorcycles in poor mechanical conditions, and also riding under the influence of alcohol and other toxic drugs, according to this report.
With the introduction of CCTV cameras in Kampala and other cities and towns in Uganda, police have been able to ascertain how several boda-boda riders have been involved in criminalities including murders, thefts, kidnaps, and hit-and-run accidents.
It’s from the above background that the police recently launched a crackdown against motorists without riding permit, PSV license, third-party insurance, helmet, and reflective jacket.
According to police, over 6,000 motorcycles have been impounded across the country for failing to meet one of the requirements.
This crackdown is intended not only to ensure that riders fulfil their obligations by meeting the requirements for riding on roads, but also to protect both riders and other motorists from becoming statistics, according to the police.
“Many Ugandans are lying in hospitals, and many are dead from boda-boda accidents, and as a nation, we have to do something,” said Patrick Onyango, the Kampala Metropolitan Police Spokesperson.
The helmet is purposely for the safety of the rider, the reflector jacket is for both the rider and other road users at night so that the rider is visible, and the license, third-party insurance, and PSV are all mandatory for road users, the Police explained.
“Creating sanity on our roads is the responsibility for us as road users and shouldn’t be looked at as a witch hunt,” Morris Mugisha, a constitutional lawyer, said.
Recently, the Kampala city authority made it mandatory for all boda-boda riders operating in the City to register with KCCA at their different divisions.
The process was entirely to streamline the activities of boda-boda operators and restore public trust in them since many people had complained about their involvement in criminal activities in Kampala.