The Director for Traffic and Road Safety in Police, Dr Stephen Kasiima has revealed that there is accute inadequacy of speed guns needed to enforce road safety laws on the numerous highways across the country. He instead proposed that government invests in acquiring more vehicles for traffic operations.
Dr Kasiiima said this on Thursday during the launch of the road safety inspection report for the Northern Eastern Road Corridor, at Hotel Africana.
The studys which was funded by the World Bank’s Global Road Safety Facility sought to assess safety risks on the Tororo – Mbale – Soroti – Lira – Kamdini corridor as an input for a safer detailed engineering design of the road corridor.
In its findings, the report identified several challenges including rapid urbanization along the corridor, poor road design as well as steep embankments and slopes all of which have resulted into road carnage.
However, the same findings also highlighted ineffective and limited speed control measures as another factor that has increased the problem of road accidents.
“There are 28 recognizable major and minor trading centres along the corridor of approximate length of 40 kms with posted speed limit of 50km/h. Tororo – Mbale – Soroti and Lira – Kamdini sections have no speed calming measures in the trading centers,” the report stated.
The report also reveals that over 30% of the motor vehicles moving through certain black spots such as the River Manafwa slope Manafwa, drive at a speed of 130 km/h instead of the recommended 80 km/h.
Commenting on the findings, Dr Kasiima noted that some of the speed control measures like speed guns required by traffic Police personnel are still inadequate. He said that this is because they are too expensive for the Police to purchase.
“Speed guns are very expensive. One speed gun costs about US$ 15,000 without taxes. A country with 1.5 million motor vehicles with only 20 speed guns, you can’t be proud of that,” he said.
“That’s why we can’t have speed guns. We should instead look at motorized measures which cover a bigger scope”.
The State Minister for Transport, Aggrey Bagiire told reporters that government has plans to include the speed guns in its budgetary process for the 20179/20 financial year. He however said that more focus will be on purchasing more vehicles instead.
“We are thinking of buying vehicles which are fitted with speed tracking devices. Because when we use speed guns, motorists tip each other off on where the traffic Police officers are stationed. It won’t be easy to do this since the vehicles are not static,” the Minister said.