Kampala, Uganda- 6th February, 2014
Safe Way right Way (SWRW), a non-government organization in partnership with the Uganda Police Force has launched a road safety campaign for safer roads which eliminates costs associated with road accidents.
Speaking at the launch event which took place at Metroplex shopping mall, January 30th 2014. Imrane Barry, Chairperson Board of Governors Safe Way Right Way, cited that road safety is a growing public health concern for low to middle income countries where 2-3% of GDP is lost to after effects of traffic accidents.
“At Mulago, our National Referral Hospital, 62.5% of the annual surgery budget is spent on traffic crash victims, the social costs of traffic crashes often begin a cycle of poverty in young families critical to the sustainable development of a Nation.” Barry added.
The Hon. Abraham Byandala, Minister of works and Transport who was the guest of honour added that globally, an estimated 1.3 million people are killed in road crashes each year and over 50 million left injured. “Worst of all, more than 40% of deaths occur among people below the age of 25 years. Here in Uganda, we lost 3,124 people in 2012 in road accidents according to Police records. And one of the leading causes of these accidents was reckless driving and over speeding.”
The minister further commended the efforts of Safe Way Right Way and The World
Bank, whose initiative in road safety is a step in the right direction of dealing with the issue head on.
Zemedkun Girma, senior transport specialist, World Bank lamented “In developed countries, enforcement of seat belt, over-speed control and drink driving laws, coupled with safer vehicles, have contributed to a reduction in traffic related deaths by more than 50% since 1970.”
Safe Way Right Way in association with its partners donated four Radar guns called the “laser witness” to enable police to monitor over speeding, a leading cause of road accidents. “This campaign is designed to improve enforcement of speed limits along our critical highways and to sensitise drivers. Program components include a school zone campaign, a speed management campaign, defensive driver training for passenger service vehicle and heavy goods vehicle drivers, as well as community sensitization at road side markets and trading centres. All these ground activities will be reinforced with a mass communication campaign” said Imrane Barry (SWRW).
“The World Bank is working with the GoU to develop a road crash database system. When established, the crash database system should be linked to a permanent vehicle inspection and driver licensing registry. This would enhance the traffic control and enforcement capacity of the government in addition to its use for research & studies, enforcement and control activities as well as for investment planning.” said Zemedkun Girma.