A Road User Satisfaction Survey report has shown that potholes and width are the main reasons why Ugandans and foreigners don’t feel safe while they are Uganda’s roads.
The 2019 report, presented by the State Minister for Works, Gen Katumba Wamala in Kampala on Wednesday showed revealed that of the reasons advanced for not feeling safe on Uganda’s roads, width stood at 26 per cent, potholes 20 per cent, dust 25 per cent, reckless driving 11 per cent and poor signage at 6 per cent.
The report has backed the argument by the Director of Traffic and Road Safety, AIGP Steven Kasiima who has for over three years, said most accidents in Uganda are head-on collusions due to narrowness of roads.
“If we are to reduce road accidents in Uganda, Uganda National Road’s Authority must also come on the board because most of the roads in Uganda are too narrow. That is why most of the accidents we have are head-on collisions. With our operations, we can handle reckless driving but nature of roads, is still a challenge since we have big cars using the same small roads with other cars,” Kasiima has previously said.
The survey also showed that road users still have challenges in identifying the correct government entity (UNRA vs Local Government authority) that is responsible for a particular road or the agencies’ mandates regarding roads.
Road users, however, felt that road agencies do not attend to road repairs in time nor the appropriate quality. Similarly, over 40 per cent of Ugandans feel that the road designs do not meet the needs of special interest groups such as pedestrians, school-going children and persons with disabilities.
However, Gen Katumba said although roads are narrow the report again shows that the percentage of road users who feel safe on Uganda’s roads has increased to 58 per cent compared to 37 per cent in 2017.
“Most road users perceive the roads in the western region as the safest that is 74 per cent of the road followed by eastern region 60 per cent and Kampala 56 per cent. Central and Northern regions had the lowest safety scores with less than 50 per cent of respondents feeling safe on the roads in the 2 regions,” said Gen Katumba.
He added that UNRA roads are now considered the safest roads followed by Kampala Capital City Authority roads. Roads users felt that district, urban and community access roads were the least safe road category.
According to the report, road users feel that road agencies do not attend to road repairs in time nor appropriate quality. Similarly, 40 per cent of the public feel that the road designs do not meet the needs of special interest groups such as pedestrians, school-going children and persons with disabilities.
As a way forward,Gen Katumba said that all road agencies should continue engaging the general public in their activities as a means of increasing public awareness of the roles of road agencies.
“The public should be educated on their responsibility towards preserving the roads asset including road furniture. Finally, road agencies should endeavour to always make available information on ongoing road projects such as the source of funding; contractors; the scope of works; and start and estimated completion dates as means to manage road users’ expectations,” he said.
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