By Pamela Nayebare
Following rampant road accidents that have claimed many lives some MPs have like Hon. Mariam Naigaga Woman MP Namutumba, Hon. James Kakoza MP Kabura among others, proposed that surveillance Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras should be put on major highways as a way of seeing accidents come to an end or at least reduce.
Lately, accidents have become a serious problem especially in Kampala, while everyone was still blaming bodas bodas, motorcar accidents have not stopped either. I have twice been in taxis (matatus) where the driver has lost control of the brakes and we nearly had fatal accidents. Obviously these matatus were in Dangerous Mechanical Condition (DMC). So many times we see boda bodas riding on pavements, overtaking vehicles on the road yet vehicles do the same, once they are out of the traffic officers’ sight and this is what usually results into accidents. At the beginning of July Masaka Road experienced several fatal accidents that left 25 dead along the section between Lweera and Masaka Town consecutively. As it is, over the last six months, at least 200 people have died along Kampala-Masaka Highway. Before people had healed from that, another fatal one occurred along Bombo Road which claimed five lives on the spot including a two-month old baby and its mother.
Only a few if, not none of the boda boda riders and taxi drivers respect and follow the Highway Code and traffic rules on the road, especially zebra crossings. Few are willing to stop for even school children to cross, they are just too impatient! I believe, however, with surveillance cameras on the roads, road users will be more careful if they know that cameras are capturing their every move.
This would be helpful to even the traffic police and will ease their work. The police have done its best to ensure that road users keep and observe traffic rules but they cannot be everywhere at once to ensure that. Besides checking for driving permits, rehabilitating roads among others surveillance cameras should also be taken into consideration because they can be put everywhere.
I, therefore, call upon the government to consider the idea of having cameras on at least major highways, perhaps this could end the rampant road accidents that Ugandans are experiencing.