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Road users sensitized about road safety

Friday, 18 January 2019 09:51
Road users sensitized about road safety ahead of the festive season.

Road users sensitized about road safety ahead of the festive season.

This is a very dangerous season on the road and the perfect time for this road safety campaign. This is the 3rd year we are doing this and the second edition of the caravan.  This year’s caravan has been brought along this Jinja-Kampala road highway. Last year we year we took it to Kampala – Masaka highway. We focus on educating and engaging road users along the busy highways on road safety.” said Gilbert Assi, the Managing Director Vivo Energy Uganda.

Every December, as we approach the festive season, a number of fatal accidents claim lives pf people.This is because of over speeding, among other factors since motorists usually drive upcountry to enjoy festive seasons with their extended families and friends. Away from Kampala,  some drivers want to make more trips and maximize profits, while others want to come to town to sell  merchandise. The heavy traffic makes the roads busier than usual.

According to the Annual Traffic and Road safety report for Uganda, there were 13,244 road accidents in 2017 and most of these happened towards the end of the year. The same report reveals that 3,000 people died during these accidents while 10,000 were injured. 

Vivo energy in partnership with Uganda Red Cross society, Ministry Of Works And Transport, NTV Uganda Television in 2016came up with a road safety campaign to sensitize road users on major highways about road usage and safety. This was dubbed “Tweddeko” meaning “let’s re-think our ways”.  Most of these accidents can be avoided if road users became a little more careful.

“The campaign started in February in 2016 with an initial focus on television messages on road safety until  last year when the caravan edition was introduced. This includes a mobile cinema with testimonials and other road safety messages. This is accompanied by a fleet of vehicles and patrol that make stop overs at major towns along the highway. The caravan made its maiden convoy on Masaka road last year and thousands of road users were engaged.  This year’s caravan  has been broughton Jinja road which has the biggest traffic flow in Uganda, given its  connection to Kenya border and beyond. 

The road is also considered one of the deadliest in Africa. Let us not forget that road safety is shared responsibility. Jinja road is our gateway to the sea and is the route that carries 90% of the goods that are imported to Uganda. It has more traffic than any other road in Uganda and this increases the risk of road accidents” said Mr. BenonKajuna, the Director  Transport, Ministry Of Works And Transport. The road crosses to Kenya through Malaba, then to Nairobi and up to Mombasa. He added.

There were tworoad safety caravans, one started off at Namanve towards Jinja and the other one moved  from Jinja town towardsKampala. The two teams then met at Mabira forest for the closing ceremony. The convoy was joined by the minister for works and transport Eng. Monica AzubaNtege who applauded  the initiative and pledged the ministry’s continued support.“The ministry would like to pledge continued collaboration with all likeminded partners in the fight against road carnage. We have set up a multisectoral team to prepare a paper detailing measures for reducing road carnage and this work is about to be completed and the paper will be presented to cabinet in January 2019.” said  the Hon. Minister before flagging off the caravan.

During this exercise, Uganda Red Cross equipped the different road users with knowledge and tips on how to respond or handle someone who has been involved in an accident. They also learnt the basics of first aid. This was done through demonstration of live simulations and accident skits. Road safety messages and testimonies were also played for the participants on the mobile cinema. They also received the Highway Code manual book, road signs posters and stickers. A few participants walked away with reflector jackets as well. At the major towns, the caravan targeted taxi drivers, boda-boda cyclists, pedestrians and their leaders in those areas.

Road safety is a collective responsibility. We can avoid most of the accidents.

“Every year in the world, 17th November is marked as the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims to remember those who died or were injured from road crashes and the plight of their loved ones who must cope with the consequences of their deaths or injuries.As such, we encourage the people of Uganda to keep safe, observe traffic rules and do everything possible within their means to avoid road accidents. Tweddeko, every life matters!” Said Mr. Miti Lwanga, lead first aid instructoron the caravan.

Read 78 times Last modified on Friday, 18 January 2019 10:28

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