Kampala-Masaka highway is prone to accidents. Almost no week goes by without an accident being recorded on the highly. Some of the accident victims escape with injuries while others lose their lives. However, eye witnesses blame most of the accidents on drivers of sand trucks.
Residents of Mpigi district and road users
plying the Kampala-Masaka route have asked police and other authorities to
tighten their grip on sand trucks, which they blame for the escalation of accidents
on the highway.
Kampala-Masaka highway is prone to accidents. Almost
no week goes by without an accident being recorded on the highly. Some of the
accident victims escape with injuries while others lose their lives. However,
eye witnesses blame most of the accidents on drivers of sand trucks.
The trucks are a common feature
on the highway because of ferrying sand from Lwera to Kampala and its
neighborhood. Statistics from Katonga Regional Police indicate that from
January to May an average of 16 sand trucks were involved in accidents each
Felista Nagawa, a resident of Kalagala, says
although traffic guidelines set a speed limit in towns along the highway,
drivers of sand trucks rarely observe them hence knocking pedestrians. Eddie Ssekamatte, a taxi driver, argues that sand truck drivers
are replacing drivers of coaches when it comes to violating traffic regulations.
He says most of the sand trucks are remodeled to allow them to carry more sand,
which affects their stability.
//Cue in: “Biroole babittika nnyo…
Cue out…abantu ababulijjo.”//
Several taxi drivers suggest that police should set a time
limit for sand trucks. Sulaiman Ssemakul proposes that sand trucks should be
limited to work between 4:00 p.m. to 5: 00 a.m. when there is less traffic on
//Cue in: “biroole ebyo…
Cue out…efujjo lingi.”//
Yudah Sseryazzi, a resident of Buwama town concurs with the
proposal to set a time frame for sand trucks, arguing that currently, one truck
driver can make several routes, which increases the risk of causing accidents
as they get tired.
//Cue in: “ebiroowozo byetuwa…
The Katonga Region Police Spokesperson, Phillip Mukasa notes
that traffic police has also noticed the trend. He says police has tried to
engage the sand truck drivers and their bosses who have promised to improve on
their behavior while using the road.
//Cue in: “We have engaged…
Cue out…in a month.”//
When asked about the way sand trucks load, Mukasa noted that
this has been a concern to police, which often impounds the trucks that they
think are over loaded.
He however, says the truck driver present
documents from the Uganda National Roads Authority-UNRA weigh station, saying
they carry the approved weight.
//Cue in: “Incidentally we have…
Cue out…weight bridge”//
Mukasa says despite the fact that sand truck
drivers at times carelessly use the road, other road users, more so saloon car
drivers are equally negligent.
Masaka road is no strange to accidents, some of
which are blamed on the slippery road service. However, police have over time
insisted that the carnage on the road is due to errant users.
Early this year, police in Katonga Region working with UNRA
carried out an on-spot training for motorists at several black spots along
Kampala-Masaka highway to assess whether they know how to respond to different situations
and road signage.
According to the recently released police
report, over 3,000 people lost their lives in the 12,805 accidents recorded in
2018. At least 5,245 cases were recorded in the Kampala metropolitan area
covering the districts of Wakiso, Mukono, Kampala, and Mpigi.