First, I would like to commiserate with the families of all those who lost their loved ones to the Link Bus accident and other road accidents in Uganda in the past few days.
It’s a shame that we continue to lose our people due to such avoidable causes. The government and passenger transport companies should ensure the following if we are to curb this carnage.
1. What happened to the speed governors that were installed in all buses? Was it someone’s business venture and after they made profits, this was forgotten? We need to revive this initiative in a civil way.
2. Seat belts: We should enforce the fastening of seat belts by all passengers in buses and taxis.
3. Time cards should be introduced for all buses on long routes. We all know what time a bus driving at 80km/hr should take to travel between destinations. Once a bus sets off from the point of departure, the driver, supervisor and random passenger should sign on the card indicating the time it has set off. A copy of this card should be retained by the driver to be checked on the trip by random traffic officers and inspectors.
4. All dangerous spots on the roads (sharp corners, potholes etc) should be identified and fixed.
5. All bus companies should have alternating drivers especially on long routes.
6. All bus drivers should be enrolled into quarterly refresher driving training and counseling sessions
7. All buses should be fitted with trackers connected to a police control system. These will capture those who may falsify time cards but also help police to respond to accident scenes in a short time.
8. All buses should be inspected for road worthiness by independent motor engineers periodically and abruptly.
9. A law should be passed that ensures that anyone found to falsify any information related to these safety measures is imprisoned for not less than a year.
10. All buses should be mandated to be under comprehensive insurance.