Aboard a passenger bus, we were awoken by squeecking of tyres and the smashing of glass. It was too short a time to hear the brakes. From all indications, the bus had rammed into the Toyota vehicle infront of us. There were no casualities except for deformed hind of the Toyota – the scratched body and a hind windscreen that lay in fragments with cracks radiating from the site of impact.
Over 97% of freight cargo and 99% of passenger traffic uses road according to this article. Uganda is only second to Ethiopia in registering the highest number of road accidents. Further, Uganda also seems to be well respected by it’s peers when it comes to alcohol consumption. Ugandans ‘tank’ quiet a lot.
It is this state of affairs that has resulted in the authoring of numerous reports decrying the frequency and mortality of accidents on Ugandan roads.
What went wrong
This begs the question: ‘what went wrong’ on Ugandan roads for them to be in such a state of quagmire? Well, quiet a number of reasons have been fronted ranging from over-speeding, sharp corners, blind spots, poor mechanical condtition of vehicles, driving-school-skipping drivers, lacsity in implimentation of traffic laws, e.t.c.
The motives of the driver as well as the passenger have eluded the conversation with the driver getting all the blame. This is were the rubber meets the road.
The drivers and Passengers alike seem to use the opportunity to think abou the many challenges and problems they face in their daily lives that they are nearly in a state of sleep and are only awakened by the sound of other vehicles driving past them, humps and increasingly the sound of squeecking of tyres and breaks. The latter more often that not results into casualities as it’s normally an acciddent.
Nothing is what it seems
Ugandan’s have been known for their warmth at heart and hospitable, a trait that has been key in promoting Uganda’s attractiveness to the world.
Smiles curve on faces almost automatically at the site of a visitor.
This sends the mind into a series of calculations as per the expences on food and other bills to ensure a comfortable visitor, and ofcourse when the visitor is leaving.
Some households prefer to receive a declaration of intent to pay a visit in advance for proper preparations.
The Bottom line
Tragic incidences such as fatal road accidents evoke a lot of emotional outpour and induce a need to protect dear life for both pedestrians, motorlists and motorcyclists. The motives of both driver and passenger are quiet different and need to be fully understood without which all labour in vain. The current interventions can only postpone the inevitable but will not stop offer durable solutions to accidents on Uganda’s roads.