New Vision (Kampala)

8 December 2012

Uganda: Road Accidents Claimed 1,500 Users By Mid-2012

Some 1,500 people have been killed in the first six months of this year due to road accidents, according to the Police Bi-Annual Traffic Accident Report 2012.

The deaths statistic includes 578 pedestrians.

According to the report, road traffic accident deaths were highest in March and lowest in June.

The total number of accidents amounted to 10,261, of which 1,266 were fatal, 4,787 serious, and 4,208 were minor cases.

There was a 7.6% decrease in the total number of accident victims from 10,086 in the first half of 2011 to 9,324 in 2012. As many as 1,501 (16.1%) people were killed, 6,913 (74.1 %) got seriously injured and 910 (9.8%) were slightly injured.

But still, the numbers are most likely to be more.

The commissioner for Traffic and Road Safety, Dr. Steven Kasiima says the cases recorded were the only ones reported and that many go unreported.

The report indicates that unlike before, pedestrians contributed to the highest number accident victims today.

About 296 motorcyclists and some 262 other passengers also lost their lives in the first half of 2012.

Dr. Kasiima says that a poor road network in parts of the country is one of the key causes of road accidents.

"Most roads do not have pedestrian ways and road signs. We have many black spots like in Mabira that need to be cleared. That is why we always have many accidents in Mabira," he explains.

"Authorities concerned should do something to save the situation; otherwise our people are still in danger."

The commissioner also blames especially motorcyclists for not abiding by traffic regulations.

"A good number of motorcyclists do not follow traffic rules. Human factors including reckless driving, over speeding, overloading, dangerous loading, drinking under alcohol influence, careless pedestrian, careless driving and passenger falls from vehicle were and are still the major causes of accidents," Kasiima says.

The total number of vehicles involved in crashes was 15,924.

The highest class of vehicles involved in accidents was motorcars (36.5%) followed by motor cycles (26.5%), light minibus (12.3 %), light goods vehicles (6.1 %), pedal-cycles (4.0%).

The traffic boss warned drivers against drunk driving and recklessness and asked all motorists to respect traffic regulations.

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