Parliament to Discuss Rampant Road Accidents: Will This Solve the Problem?

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The Parliament of Uganda is expected to hold a comprehensive discussion this week on how to mitigate the rampant road accidents.

MP Thomas Tayebwa, the Deputy Speaker of Parliament, on January 6, 2022, during the plenary session directed the Minister of Works and Transport to write a statement on road accidents and what is being done by the enforcement agencies to have the accidents curbed down, then present it to the House in the next sitting.

The Deputy Speaker was basing his remarks on the increased number of accidents that occurred during the holiday season and have continued to claim lives.

A few weeks ago, the former Member of Parliament for Serere County, Patrick Okabe, and his wife perished in a motor accident, and just last week, about 20 people died in a motor accident that occurred along the Kampala-Gulu Highway.

“The minister will be required to present a comprehensive statement that will be subjected to thorough debate.We shall need broad measures taken by the government to address road carnage,” Tayebwa said.

As the African saying goes, “You can force a horse to the spring, but you can’t force it to take water.” Numerous media reports on accidents are entirely attributed to reckless driving.

Police reports similarly indicate that most of the accidents have occurred as a result of reckless driving. This creates a limbo as to how Parliament will stop drivers from careless driving.

Other causes of road accidents

Road accidents are not limited to human negligence in driving, but there are other causes that have contributed to an increase in fatal accidents and sustaining injuries.

Slippery roads are another cause of increased accidents in the country. Some roads are slippery at some points, and they are worsened during the rainy season, which has greatly contributed to the fatal accidents.

Some of the roads lack clear road signage that would help notify drivers on the road of what is ahead. This has created blackspots on some parts of the road.

Even the lack of speed humps in some of the areas or towns has been a contributor to the rampant road accidents, and there is no limit to regulating the speeding cars and controlling other road users or pedestrians that are crossing the road and conducting business along the various roads.

These are some of the challenges, among others, that are associated with road accidents and which the government needs to address.

However, it remains quite unclear whether the parliamentary discussion will hint at and discuss extensively the mentioned issues and come up with a lasting solution to the problem.

So, will Parliament discuss something different from what the Department of Traffic Police has always cautioned drivers and all road users on? Will Parliament’s debate reap any positive results, or will it be a debate with no lasting solution?

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