By Our Reporter
Kampala: The rampant road carnage in the country has reawakened concerns on road safety, with the Speaker, Anita Among calling for implementation of the Road Safety Act.
Speaker Among made the directive on Tuesday, 11 July 2023.
This follows the recent death of former Member of Parliament for Erute North, Hon. Charles Angiro, in a motor accident on 08 July 2023 along Karuma-Pakwach Road.
Similarly, renown businessman, Apollo Nyegamehe also known as Aponye died inan accident on 06 July 2023 in Itoojo, Ntugamo district, after his vehicle hit a stationary truck.
“In 2019, we passed the Road Safety Act and Section 58 speaks about towing of vehicles and to date, no one is implementing that. We give you money to operationalise the law and you do not do it; we want to know what is happening,” Among said.
She directed the Minister of Works and Transport, Uganda Revenue Authority and Uganda Police Force to ensure stationary vehicles are removed from the road side.
“When you look at the issue of road accidents, the salient issues are non-implementation of Road Safety Act 2019. If we implemented that law to the latter, then we would not have those problems. I want to urge the minister to implement that law especially Section 58,” she said.
The Speaker also called for scaling up of road safety campaigns as well improvement of road designs into dual carriages.
Hon. Jonathan Odur (UPC, Erute County South) stated that according to the law, it is a criminal offence for anyone to leave stationary vehicles on the road beyond 30 minutes in urban centres and one hour in rural areas.
“Now the minister has just made a ritual that once a Bill is coming, you just write a certificate of financial implication and you bring it here; and when it comes to proposing a budget for implementation, it is not done,” he said.
Hon. Alex Ruhunda (NRM, Fort Portal Central Division) appealed to the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development to release Shs5 billion for the road safety sector in the 2023/2024 financial year.
“For the first time, we passed Shs5 billion for the road safety sector and we hope that the Ministry of Finance will honor, because sometimes we pass this money and the Minister of Finance does not release. Please, make sure you give road safety priority,” said Ruhunda.
Amuria District Woman Representative, Hon. Susan Amero called for heavy penalties for reckless driving, as one of the means of curbing road accidents.
“We need to revisit our laws to make sure that every driver is responsible and respectable on the road. The issue is not our roads; some of our roads are very good but we are not disciplined at all,” Amero said.
The Minister of State for Works and Transport (Transport), Hon. Fred Byamukama pledged to ensure the removal of stationary vehicles from road sides.
“With the rampant accidents, we sat with stakeholders and we promise you that we are going to implement that law to ensure that these vehicles which have mechanical problems do not stay on the road, they will be taken to police,” he said.