Pedestrians Most Vulnerable to Deadly Road Accidents, Warns Traffic Directorate

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Uganda Police’s Directorate of Traffic Road and Safety has indicated that pedestrians are the most vulnerable to deadly accidents on the road. In a press conference held today February 26, 2024, at the Police Headquarters in Naguru, SCP Lawrence Niwabiine, the Director of Traffic Road and Safety, shared alarming statistics from the Annual Crime Report, indicating that pedestrians accounted for 37% of reported deaths last year.

Niwabiine highlighted the dire situation, stating, “The Annual Crime Report highlights that the most vulnerable individuals are pedestrians, contributing to 37% of the total deaths reported last year.” The Director attributes these accidents to the invasion of walkways by trade and illegal markets, resulting in the tragic deaths of approximately 145 pedestrians who were crushed along the roadside.

“The narrow roads and pedestrian walkways are being invaded by illegal markets, endangering those who walk and stand alongside the roads,” explained Niwabiine. He emphasizes that even standing along the road has become risky due to these encroachments, pleading for immediate action to address this issue.

Another concerning trend observed by the Traffic Directorate is the involvement of young people below the age of 35 in fatal accidents, accounting for 60% of the reported deaths.

“60% of the deaths involve our youth and the productive age group. We need to look into this matter seriously and find ways to protect our population. Uganda has a young population, and it is crucial to preserve it,” stated Nuwabiine.

Additionally, motorcycles have emerged as a significant factor contributing to road fatalities, responsible for 45% of reported deaths, according to the Traffic Director. The police attribute these deaths to the negligence of riders who fail to wear helmets.

“If you observe the statistics, you will see that a significant number of motorcyclists ride without wearing helmets. We recorded 37,160 such incidents last year alone,” reported the police Traffic chief.

The data revealed that males constituted 74% of the fatalities, while females accounted for the remaining 26%. The Traffic Directorate emphasized the need to address reckless driving habits, as these fatal crashes primarily occur between 6 pm and 8 pm. Speeding and careless overtaking were identified as major causes of these accidents, demanding immediate attention from authorities.

With the rising number of pedestrian fatalities and the concerning involvement of young individuals and motorcyclists in deadly accidents, it is crucial for the government and relevant stakeholders to work together to formulate effective road safety strategies. Safeguarding vulnerable road users and promoting responsible driving practices will be paramount in reducing the tragic loss of lives on Uganda’s roads.

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