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669 Children Killed In Road Crashes In 10 Months

At least 669 children were knocked dead between January and October this year, this is according to traffic police statistics. The deaths recorded in 10 months have surpassed the 650 total children deaths on roads registered in 2022.

Senior Commissioner of Police (SCP) Lawrence Niwabiine, the acting Director of Traffic Police, said children are dying being transported to schools mostly on motorcycles and many others have been rammed into by vehicles and bodabodas as they walk on the roadsides.

“Of the 669 children who have died in road crashes from January to October this year, 361 were males and 380 were females. We need to address this problem of our children being knocked and injured on the roads,” Niwabiine said.

Niwabiine was speaking at the road safety conference organized by Road Safety Coalition Uganda (ROSACU), the Ministry of Works and Transport, Centre for Policy Analysis, Hope for Victims of Traffic Accidents (HOVITA), URRENO, African Centre for Media Excellence-ACME, and others under the theme ”Stay Aware Stay Alive” Road Safety for All.

Allen Kagina, the Executive Director of Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA), said there is too much recklessness on the roads that has left a lot of infrastructure destroyed.

Kagina said every week, UNRA spends money to repair destroyed road infrastructure mostly at the Kampala Northern Bypass.

“The cost of repairing damaged infrastructure is too high. Our infrastructure is destroyed by speeding drivers every day. You all know Northern Bypass. Those road guards are destroyed every day and we have to repair them every week,” Kagina said.

Niwabiine cited Northern Bypass as the most lethal to road users just like the Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) annual traffic report for 2022 revealed about five days ago. Niwabiine said people are being killed at Kalerwe and Sentema roundabouts.

“We have been able to identify a huge gap. It’s the motorcycle and pedestrians’ vulnerability increasing every day. If you combine those two risks, you see that they constitute 80% of the deaths on the roads,” Niwabiine said.

Traffic police data from January to October shows that 1,275 motorcyclists have died in road crashes while 513 passengers on the same mode of transport have also perished. In addition, 119 pedal cyclists have also been knocked dead.

Musa Ecweru, the State Minister of Transport who represented, the Minister Edward Katumba urged all Ugandans to be careful while using the roads. He also applauded civil societies and government officials who have put in all possible efforts to promote road safety.

-URN

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