Kampala. More than 3,000 people were killed and another 10,000 picked injuries of varying degrees in 13,244 road accidents last year, according to the annual Traffic and Road Safety report released yesterday.
Nearly half of the dead were pedestrians and 918 were motorcyclists, meaning less than 1,000 died in car crashes.
Mr Steven Kasiima, the director of Traffic Police, attributed the accidents mainly to reckless and careless driving, which jointly accounted for 72 per cent of the fatal accidents.
Mr Kasiima said other causes include; careless pedestrians, speeding, dangerous loading and or overloading, vehicles in dangerous mechanical conditions, drunk drivers, passengers falling off vehicles and obstacles on the road.
Areas with highest rates of accidents are Kampala Metropolitan, Bunyoro, Ankore and Greater Masaka.
Police flagged Entebbe Road, which leads to the country’s only international airport and on which passengers in mad dash to catch flights is common sight, as the worst in the country.
The problem on the highway is also exacerbated by increasing numbers of government officials with lead cars that regularly break traffic rules as the big shots are chauffeured either to the airport or for meetings with the President at State House Entebbe.
Entebbe Expressway relief
A likely relief appears on the cards with the commissioning last month of the Entebbe Expressway, which is wider and whose double-lane carriageways are separated by an island to avoid head-on collision for oncoming traffic. It is also fenced on the sides to prevent intrusion by careless pedestrians.
Government-owned vehicles, police noted in the reported, were second highest among those involved in fatal road accidents.
“In Kampala South [Katwe, Entebbe, and Natete], accidents were high because there is a big number of drivers and motorcyclist in that area and its total population is high,” Mr Kasiima said.
Police said majority of the mishaps happen at 5pm-6pm and 7pm to 8pm rush hours.
The Inspector General of Police, Mr Martins Okoth-Ochola, said at the release of the report yesterday that: “The efforts in building traffic police through quantitative and qualitative improvements has yielded positive results and expect further higher quality service delivery in the years to come.”
Police also announced that it collected Shs17.7b in express penalty scheme from 197,529 errant drivers countrywide.
More than 4,000 drivers were found without valid driving permits, something the IGP said explained the high number of accidents caused by largely untrained drivers.
Meanwhile, police responded to 1,099 fire emergencies last year, a 19 percentage point reduction from 2016 occurrences.