The Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga has called for the reinstating of the vehicle inspection role to the Uganda Police Force under the Inspectorate of Motor Vehicles.
Kadaga made the call during the launch of the Legislative Action Plan on Road Safety and while receiving a petition on the campaign for safer roads by the Parliamentary Forum on Road Safety (PAFROS) on Friday, 18 May 2018 at Parliament.
The plan is aimed at creating awareness on road carnage and improving road use in the country.
“As the Government, we need to reallocate the vehicle inspection to the Police, and provide them with the necessary funding to carry out training and capacity building to implement the inspection”, she said.
The Speaker alluded to the organization of road systems in the United States of America where bad road users are apprehended by digital systems like CCTVs set up along roads, and said Uganda can pick a leaf from this.
“We have been talking about installing CCTV cameras in this city and country. I don’t know how far that programme has gone. These will be very useful in spotting those who cause carnage on our roads,” Kadaga said.
She also commended Members of Parliament, partners and donors for affirmative action in the Road Safety campaign, and appealed to the public to promote good road use practices.
“I am delighted that the Legislative Action Plan has been worked on. I appeal to MPs to debate the five pillars identified for action,” she said.
The Minister of State for Transport Hon. Aggrey Bagiire noted that road carnage required concerted effort to be reduced and commended MPs for their role in advocating for improved road safety.
“Road safety is completely underfunded. I appeal to the August House to take affirmative action and allocate resources for road safety initiatives and interventions”, Bagiire said.
The Chairperson of the Parliamentary Forum on Road Safety, Hon. Alex Ruhunda (NRM, Fort Portal Municipality) noted that Africa was the least motorized continent but contributed to 60 percent of road carnage globally. He called for legislative and political support to enact laws to improve road safety.
“It is best practice that road safety should not just be considered as a transport sector issue but as well as a public health policy issue,” said Ruhunda.
Partners with the Parliamentary Forum on Road Safety including the World Health Organization, the World Bank and Safeway Right Way acknowledged that road carnage in Uganda needed urgent action for express improvement of road use.
“Uganda loses about 2.5 per cent of its GDP through road carnage and has a track record of aging vehicle fleets,” said Florentin de Loppinot, Managing Director Total Uganda Ltd.
“Road safety requires strong partnership because 33 per cent of hospital beds in Africa are occupied by road accident victims,” noted Dr. Yonas Woldemariam, the Country Representative of the World Health Organisation in Uganda).
“The World Bank is undertaking a review of the National Road Transport Policy to reflect one of the fundamental tenets of road safety,” added Ivan Mwonda (Senior Transport Specialist, World Bank).
The Legislative Action Plan on Road Safety is based on a gap analysis of the current Traffic and Road Safety Act, as well as best practice with regard to road design, construction and maintenance. It aims to address challenges by stimulating debate in Parliament and sin the society on the urgent nature of action on road safety.