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Uganda: 20 die in Christmas accidents, say police

KAMPALA. At least 20 people perished in road accidents during the festive season and 70 drivers were reportedly arrested for violating traffic regulations.

The traffic police spokesperson, Mr Charles Ssebambulidde, said 20 people lost life in 19 fatal accidents recorded across the country from December 22 to December 26.

“We did not register many accidents like it had been in the previous festive seasons. We registered only 19 fatal accidents and 20 deaths.

Thirty people survived with serious injuries and they are [admitted] to different hospitals,” Mr Ssebambulidde said.

Police said the most fatal accident claimed five people on the Kampala-Gulu highway at Kafu bridge when a speeding Toyota Prado collided with a bus. The bus was heading to Gulu from Kampala.

In Kabale, one person was knocked dead by a speeding car and the deceased was identified as Bruno Atuhire, a 16-year-old resident of Kicumbi in Kamuganguzi Sub-county. He was knocked while riding a bicycle at around 5pm.

The Kampala Metropolitan traffic police commander, Mr Israel Wambesyo, said one person was knocked dead at Matugga in Wakiso District on Christmas eve.

“We had a few incidents of road accidents in Kampala because we deployed officers, sensitised and warned drivers in advance, we only had six fatal accidents in the whole of Kampala,” Mr Wambesyo said.

On the drivers’ arrest, police said most of them were netted over drunk driving, lack of driving permits, faulty lights and indicators in addition to driving vehicles in dangerous mechanical condition.

Still on
Mr Ssebambulidde said the crackdown on errant drivers will not cease until the festive season is over.

He reminded drivers to have requirements such as a valid driving permit, PSV, third party, working brakes, tyres in good condition, flashlights, seatbelts and functioning indicators if they are to avoid being intercepted along the road.

Last Friday, police said it was arresting at least 10 drivers on highways for violating traffic regulations within Kampala and other upcountry roads.

By press time, police were yet to compute the amount of money collected from road fines during Christmas and number of drivers who have already been prosecuted in courts.

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