By Aligaweesa Musa
At least 77 people died and as much as 364 sustained injuries in road crashes in Uganda in a period of one week.
Superintendent of Police, Michael Kananura, the Traffic Police spokesperson told journalists on Monday that the deaths and injuries were as a result of 447 crashes on various roads in the country.
“In the period between July, 3 and 9, 2023, we registered 447 accidents, 67 of which were fatal, 235 serious and the rest being minor,” Kananura said.
Fatal accidents are those where there is a life lost, serious accidents involve people who are only injured, whereas minor accidents are those in which only vehicles are damaged.
The Traffic Police spokesperson said of the 77 people who perished in these accidents, 38 were both passengers and riders of motorcycles and 26 pedestrians whereas motorcycles also contributed to the biggest number of those injured in accidents on Ugandan roads last week.
For example renowned Kampala businessman, Apollo Nyegamehe also known as Aponye perished on July, 6 when the vehicle, a Toyota Landcruiser he was being chauffeured in crashed into a stationary lorry at Itojo along the Mbarara-Ntungamo highway.
Three other occupants of the vehicle including the driver are admitted to hospital with injuries.
Traffic Police has since attributed the accident to over speeding by the driver.
In another accident, former Member of Parliament for Erute North in Lira District, Charles Angiro Gutomoi and three others died in an accident last week when the vehicle they were travelling in overturned several times after the driver lost control of it.
Speaking on Monday, the Traffic Police spokesperson attributed majority of the accidents that happened last week to reckless driving, overs peeding, overtaking in dangerous areas, driving under the influence of alcohol and speaking on phone while driving.
President Museveni last month assented to the Traffic and Road Safety Amendment Bill 2023 to make it law enforceable in Uganda.
According to the new law that government says is aimed at enforcing sanity on Ugandan roads, driving past the prescribed speed limit will earn a motorist a shs2 million fine or a jail sentence of up to three years or both.
Section 119A(3) of this law stipulates that a person who fails to comply with the speed limit commits an offence and is liable, on conviction, to a fine not exceeding 100 currency points or imprisonment not exceeding three years, or both.
One currency point is equivalent to shs20,000.
The speed limit in Uganda depends on the area and the type of car one is driving.
For instance, on highways; motorcycles and saloon cars are not supposed to run beyond 100km per hour on paved roads and 80km per hour on gravel.
On the other side, vans, pick-ups and trucks carrying less than 3500kg are not supposed to exceed 80km per hour on paved roads and 60 km per hour on gravel roads.
Mini buses or taxis are not permitted to exceed 80km per hour on paved roads and 60km per hour on gravel roads whereas buses and coaches are not allowed to exceed 80km per hour on paved rural roads and 60km per hour on grave roads.
All goods vehicles are not allowed to drive beyond 80km per hour .
The speed limit for all types of vehicles in built up areas or trading centres is 50km per hour.