1 Lawmakers want deliberate action by the Ministry of Public Works and Transportation to improve road designs across the country in a bid to curb road carnage and improve road safety.
2 Members of Parliament in the Physical Infrastructure Committee chaired by the Hon. Robert Kasolo made the call in a meeting with the Minister of Public Works and Transport, General Katumba Wamala, on Wednesday, August 17, 2022.
3 Katumba Wamala said the ministry collects more than sh200 billion in non-tax revenue in a year and requested 21 shs.
4 5 billion of this amount will go to the ministry.
5 In a statement to the Chamber in July 2022, the Minister of State for Public Works and Transport, Hon. Musa Ecweru said that the ministry identified key critical areas of intervention for the implementation of road safety programs and activities that require an additional funding of 21.5 billion shss.
6 Activities include strengthening road safety management and public transport regulation, intensifying road safety education and awareness, and implementing the National Road Safety Plan. Hon. Sarah Opendi (NRM, Tororo District) said the challenge of road designs is often not considered when talking about road safety, which she says leads to head-on collisions.
8 “We are getting closer to 2030, when we are supposed to reduce the carnage on the roads by 50 percent, but instead it is increasing because we are not taking proactive measures to reduce these deaths,” Opendi said, adding that, “If we go To reduce traffic accidents in this country, the design of the roads must change’.
9 She also attributed road safety challenges to the government’s inability to invest in other modes of transportation, including rail services.
10 “When will we have the Standard Gauge Railroad for our goods to be transported using the railway?
11 I want to see functional gauge from the Malaba border to other parts of the country so that we have an alternative to trailers,” Opendi said.
12 Hon. Nelson Okello (UPC, Maruzi North County) tasked the Minister to contract with the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) to develop a detailed cost to identify and redesign black spots on roads and convert them to two-lane roads.
13 “We can pilot a highway to see if, if sections of a highway like Busia-Malaba are improved, we can address the problem of road safety,” Okello said.
14 He stressed the need for UNRA to carry out road markings on all highways in the country and, he said, will verify deaths on the highways.
15 Ntoroko County MP, H.E. Ibanda Rwemulikya called for punitive measures for unruly road users, especially those who park in the middle of the roads or drive in the wrong lanes.
16 He added that speed cameras should also be used effectively to catch road users acting with impunity.
17 “If we are not tough on road users, we will continue to see these traffic accidents.
18 You are doing good seminars but you should take them to road users.
19 I want to see you in the taxi parks,” said Rwemulikya.
20 Hon. Elijah Okupa (Indep., Kasilo County) emphasized the need to prioritize Road Fund funding towards road safety to control road accidents in the country.
21 “We need to work very hard to make sure that the Ministry of Public Works and Transport receives the money that it is entitled to by law to handle road safety,” he said.
22 Katumba Wamala said that the national road safety action plan costing Shh601 billion over a five-year period was approved by the ministry on Thursday, August 11, 2022, and a formal launch will be arranged to start implementation.
23 “The Traffic and Road Safety Law was amended in 2020 and the process of developing regulations to make the Law operational began.
24 Fourteen of the regulations were approved and will be sent to the First Parliamentary Council for drafting and approval,” said Katumba Wamala.