As Uganda join the rest to commemorate the International World day to remember victims of road accidents, traffic police revealed that it lacks equipment used in rescuing victims of accidents.
In an event organised in Kampala by Uganda Professional Drivers’ Network (UPDN), an umbrella body that brings together numerous drivers associations, participants pointed out that Uganda lacks proper accident rescue services as many victims are rescued by good Samaritans.
It is a common practice for Police to pick up victims using the patrol pickup trucks instead of ambulances which many believe is inappropriate.
Drivers under their umbrella organisation urged government to carry out training for Police and the public on rescue tips. They said many people die due to poor handling and transportation from the scenes to hospital.
According to Charles Edeune from UPDN, reports indicate that only 7% of accident victims reach hospital while still alive but the biggest percentage die on the way due to poor transportation.
“We do not have strong response units in the Police, even hospitals are not well equipped to handle accident causalities but what kills them most is transport,” he said.
The commander of traffic Police in Kampala Metropolitan SSP Norman Musinga said that Police lacks equipment including ambulances to rescue accident victims which lead to deaths before reaching hospitals.
“Sometimes we are forced to improvise with the little equipment to be used at the scenes of accident and several officers have fallen victims of circumstances as a result of handling accidents.
Besides the lack of equipment, drivers also asked government to strengthen the punitive actions against road and traffic offenders like invoking their driver’s licences in order to streamline their job as well as reduce road accidents.
On behalf of Heavy Truck drivers, Mr. Abdul Majidu Kamya from Haulage truckers Uganda urged his associates to always be cautious and observe safety while executing their jobs.
He reminded truck drivers that it’s their primary responsibility to save lives of many road users especially pedestrians who make up the biggest number of accident victims.
“It is our responsibility to ensure that we save lives on the roads, therefore I urge all drivers to attain proper and professional training of our job, and therefore we’re going to partner with our colleagues in other organisations to professionalize our work which will also help in reducing road carnage,” he said.
Traffic report indicates that 12,805 accidents happened in 2018 and over 4000 people lost their lives. Kampala metropolitan registered the biggest number of incidents and at least 600 victims died.
Apparently, research reveal that at least 10 people die in road accidents daily in Uganda indicating an increase in the coming report.