Legislators on the Parliamentary Forum For Road Safety with support from the World Bank’s Global Road Safety Facility and in partnership with the Ministry of Work and Transport and Safe Way Right Way, have launched the implementation of the road safety legislative action plan as an effort to address legislative issues regarding the institutionalized management of road safety, safer roads and mobility, safer vehicles and road users, and post-crash response.
Currently, fatal crashes in Uganda rose from 500 in 1991 to 3,503 in 2016, representing a seven-fold increment over period of 25 years. Recently, a World Bank study found that reducing road traffic deaths and injuries could result in substantial long-term income gains for low- and middle-income countries.
The study which considered detailed data on deaths and economic indicators from 135 countries, estimates that on average, a 10% reduction in road traffic deaths raises per capita real GDP by 3.6% over a 24-year horizon.
The study further finds that countries that do not invest in road safety could miss out on anywhere between 7 and 22% in potential per capita GDP growth over a 24-year period.
The global road safety status report - 2015 puts annual road traffic fatalities in Uganda at over 10,000. This is abundantly clear that road safety is a significant and rapidly growing public health and socio-economic burden.
Due to this alarming rate of road accidents, Safe Way Right Way and Members of Parliament decided to establish the Parliamentary Forum on Road Safety (PAFROS) and the subsequent development of a legislative action plan based on a gap analysis of the traffic and road safety act as well as recommended best practice across an array of policies and legislation cutting across several government ministries, departments and agencies”.
The emphasis for the success of this project will be the ability for stakeholders to ensure sustained policy development and implementation across several government agencies with a mandate to support road safety improvement.
Barbara Mwanje, the Chief Executive Officer Safe Way-Right Way said “The most critical output following the establishment of the forum is the development of a legislative action plan informed by the 5 pillars of road safety as recommended under the United Nations decade of action for road safety to which Uganda is a signatory”.
Adding, “Our action plan seeks to address legislative action: policy development, enactment, implementation and evaluation across several sectors”, to create national awareness, debate and attention towards improvement of road safety in Uganda.