A few months ago, there could have been a nasty accident at Kisubi on Entebbe road. There could have been a small newspaper article or two about the death of a young man late in the evening one Wednesday and probably about that of two innocent by-standers who were waiting for a taxi, mauled, bashed into road-kill by a small Starlet whose driver was trying to save himself but failed.
This accident didn’t happen because, probably, it was not time yet. Or Andrew was sleeping on the job. (Tess must have given him a good talking-down-to on that one). It served to scare the driver into rethinking his lifestyle and all that.
There was really no reason for the cattle-truck driver to veer into my path. There was enough space on his side but it must have been one of those devilish moments when people cannot resist the lure of the dark side. I could have sworn I heard the evil laugh of the hands sitting high up on the railings as the old truck rushed past.
Accidents on Ugandan roads do not seem to be decreasing even though the police website says otherwise. According to Uganda’s Finest, during 2003 and 2004, the traffic department planned to cut casualties by 25 per cent. Note that this was just the plan. Nothing is said about what they actually achieved. The traffic department is fighting a difficult battle, just like the fire one is with their painful deficiency of fire trucks.
The numbers are scary when you think about them seriously. There is this thing about numbers and accidents that just turns off the human in us and i guess that’s why we do not seem to understand what the increases in the rates mean. 2, 000 deaths a year is way too high.
Accidents have been attributed to, among others, lack of road discipline, lack of knowledge about the traffic highway code and poor road design. The police also say they have a problem with logistics.
Between June and July this year, more than 25 people perished in road accidents. One of the most gory was in E-Town where an army officer, Col. Ezra Kyombo died. Someone rushing to the airport tried to overtake another car and instead, rammed headlong into the soldier’s car.
It’s ironic. Americans are stressing over strange diseases which are brought on by what they eat and we are here dying like flies because we do not want to slow down on our roads. That even when we know how bad our roads are and how our cars are mostly in dangerous mechanical conditions.
Recently, $1 trillion was budgeted to give the Ugandan road sector a long overdue facelift but we shall find out at the end of the year if this is what we really needed.
And also: the song that must be on repeat inside Warren B’s head right now must be Too legit to Quit.
P.P.S: Is it only me who sees the electricity between Lois and Clark?