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Train Riders Before Giving Them Motorcycles on Loan -UPAPA

Charles Ociti, the UPAPA Managing Director believes that most drivers and riders are not qualified to be on the road but they are there for survival and as a result, they end up causing or getting involved in accidents.
A group of driver and riders display their certificates of defensive driving

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The Uganda Passengers and Pedestrians Association -UPAPA has tasked organizations and individuals who give motorcycles on loan to train the riders before they go on road.

A number of people are increasingly getting boda boda (motorcycle) loans from financial institutions and organizations such as Tugende, Watu and World Vision to acquire motorcycles to generate an income. The loans are repaid using money generated by the same motorcycles.

Currently, there are over 5,000 motorcycle riders operating in Lango sub region but most of them did not go through formal training and this is believed to be the highest contributor to road accidents in the region.

In the recently released annual crime report, Lango sub region categorized as North Kyoga Police region registered a total of 636 road accidents; 131 were fatal, 392 serious and 113 minor cases.

Charles Ociti, the UPAPA Managing Director believes that most drivers and riders are not qualified to be on the road but they are there for survival and as a result, they end up causing or getting involved in accidents.

He says riders especially those who get motorcycles on loans are always under pressure to pay loan and so they do not get time to go through formal training. However, he says the companies giving the motorcycles have a responsibility of ensuring that whoever gets a motorcycle is qualified to be on the road.

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//Cue in: “We are aware…//

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According to him, these organizations can partner with UPAPA who are already carrying out such trainings to help in training their riders in order to avoid falling on the wrong sides of the law.

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//Cue in: “Whoever gives a motor vehicle…//

Cue out: ... especially on defensive driving.”//

UPAPA has already trained over 1,850 drivers and riders in Lango sub-region. The training focuses on 7 key areas which include causes of accidents, the traffic rules and traffic sign interpretation and applications, defensive driving, work and professional ethics of drivers and simple mechanical maintenance among others.

Ambrose Ogaba, a boda boda motorist who participated in the training in Lira City says his riding skills has greatly improved both on the road and when handling clients. He adds  that he is able to interpret and apply road signs and symbols.

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Sam Opio, a taxi driver operating along Lira- Abim road is excited for having attended the training saying he missed a lucrative job because he had never attended formal driving lessons.

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//Cue in: “Pwonyere man jo apol…//

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Mathias Okwir, the North Kyoga Regional Traffic Officer says getting defensive driving skills is paramount in driving because it helps drivers to know how to manage abrupt incidences on road.

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He implored all drivers and riders to take it upon themselves to attain these skills saying his office will soon start carrying out operations to crack down unqualified motorists on road.

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//Cue in: “You find someone…//

Cue out: ... reduce accidents on the road.”//

UPAPA is a non-profit making organization which does road safety training, sensitization and advocacy across the country. The organization has embarked on a nationwide training of drivers and riders on defensive driving and road usage.