New Vision (Kampala)

Uganda: 25 Injured in Jaguar Bus Accident

Over 25 People Have This Morning Been Injured After a Bus They Were Travelling in Overturned At Nyakihanga, 4 Kilometers From Ntungamo Town Off Ntungamo - Mbarara Road.

The bus, reg. no. UAG 108T belonging to Jaguar Bus company was travelling from Kampala to Kigali via Kagitumba border. It overturned as the driver tried to brake to avoid ramming into road works machinery belonging to Reynolds construction company (RCC) that is working on the Mbarara - Kabale highway.

The Ntungamo District Police commander, Francis Kabera, says they suspect the driver was speeding and poor road marking by the contractor to have caused the accident.

The injured were rushed Itojo and Mbarara hospitals plus other clinic in Ntungamo town.

Kayihura launches safety campaign

In a move to strengthen raod safety and security enforcement, the Police boss, Lt. Gen. Kale Kayihura, has launched an action plan to curb the increasing road carnage and security challenges in the country.

Kayihura said though statistics show a slight decrease in the total number of accidents by 9.5% from 18,528 in 2011 to 16,765 in 2012, the number of traffic accidents and deaths is unacceptably high.

He launched the plan at the Police headquarters in Kampala on Tuesday.

Kayihura said they had strengthened deployment of integrated highway Police (traffic highway patrols, criminal investigation officers and the community liaison officers) working closely with the local communities along all highways and Kampala Metropolitan policing area to curb the problem during the festive season.

"More overt and armed covert Police officers have been deployed to escort buses to enforce traffic regulations. "Buses have been the main cause of accidents. The officers will also help us curb robberies along the roads," he said.

Kayihura said no bus is allowed to make a return journey, saying they had also communicated to their Kigali counterparts to enforce it.

Police is to enhance sensitisation among the public on road safety and security and establish hotlines at all Police stations to report cases.

They will also operationalise emergency response centres with ambulances, recovery trucks, fire fighting equipment and patrol cars at strategic points on highways to provide rapid response to road accidents.

Kayihura said they had got volunteer doctors who will be working at the centres to provide first aid to the victims before taking them to hospitals.

The Police have established a joint co-ordination team comprising bus owners and drivers, passenger protection bodies, media, bodaboda and taxi associations.

The team also includes special hires and driving schools to ensure compliance with traffic regulations, security and safety regulations.

Kayihura said they would enhance operations targeting speeding, drunk and reckless driving.

"I warn bodabodas against violating traffic rules. They are subject to traffic regulations. The Police should arrest any bodaboda motorist who violates traffic laws. We are going to co-ordinate with various stakeholders to streamline bodaboda operations," he noted.

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