Boda-Boda safety is at the center of this year’s National Road Safety Awareness Campaign.
This year, the Ministry, in collaboration with road safety stakeholders has decided to raise awareness of Motorcycle safety under the theme “Together for boda-boda Safety”.
The decision to focus on creating awareness of the safety of boda-bodas arose out of a growing number of road crashes involving motorcyclists and motorcycle passengers. According to the Annual Traffic Police Report 2021, out of the 4,159 people killed 1,390 were motorcyclists, this number forms the highest number of road user groups killed.
National Road Safety Week is an annual event to raise awareness about road safety and promote steps that everyone can take to stop needless deaths and injuries each year. This year’s activities include an awareness walk, training, and sensitization of boda-boda riders, pedestrian /zebra crossing painting as well as visiting accident victims in hospitals.
While launching the National Road Safety Week’s activities at the UNTA grounds in Kyambogo, the Minister of State for transport remarked that, for the Government, to reverse the “boda-boda pandemic or epidemic”, road safety stakeholders have a duty to organize the industry, sensitize the riders, train and ensure that they have all the statutory requirements to operate.
“As we work towards achieving the Global target of reducing road crash fatalities and serious injuries by 50% by 2030, Government through my Ministry is committed to implementing policies and interventions to improve Boda boda safety in the country,”.
The increasing use of boda bodas especially in urban areas has been partly attributed to the inadequacy of an Urban Mass Transit Transport System. Records show that an average of up to 18,000 motorcycles are registered on a monthly basis. This number is expected to grow over the years hence a great need to plan and regulate the boda-boda industry.
A census on motorcycles by KCCA revealed that out of the 42,000 motorcycles registered, 37,000 (88%) were boda bodas. 94% of these boda bodas did not have driving licenses, 98% did not have PSV licenses and only 157 riders had all the requirements to operate.
“My Ministry is working with KCCA and the Uganda Police Force to streamline the boda-boda operations in Kampala City. This will include gazetting of boda-boda stages, assigning operators to approved stages within the City, and training boda-boda riders in approved Driving Schools,” said the Minister.
Part of the short-term interventions proposed in the National Road Safety Action Plan includes a review of the Motorcycle helmet Standard in partnership with UNBS. The Ministry also plans to develop and implement an automated driver training and testing System in order to ensure that all drivers including motorcyclists are well-trained and tested before being issued driving Licenses.
The Minister also directed the concerned agencies; Ministry of Works and Transport, Uganda Police Force, KCCA, and all other stakeholders, private sector and civil society organizations to sustain the campaign and efforts for change in the Boda-boda industry for at least a period of six months or even a year.
”I want us to come back here next year and evaluate the interventions we have made on boda-boda safety,” he said.