Harmonise Driving Sides to Curb Road Accidents - Police Chiefs

1761 Views Mbarara, Uganda

In short
In the East African Community, Rwanda, Burundi and South Sudan drive on the right hand side, while Uganda,Tanzania and Kenya use the left side.

The Police in Uganda and Rwanda say that harmonising driving sides on the roads is key to reducing traffic accidents in the region.

The challenge of countries having parallel driving sides has been blamed for several accidents on the highways involving international drivers.

In the East African Community, Rwanda, Burundi and South Sudan drive on the right hand side, while Uganda,Tanzania and Kenya use the left side.

The police has no exact number of accidents caused by such human error but accidents have been attributed to the practice.

Early this year, one person died and three others were injured when a trailer registration number RAA 910N/0465 heading to Rwanda collided with another registration number RAA 295M/RL0217 heading the opposite direction. Police said the Rwanda-bound trailer was on the wrong side of the road.

The incident occurred at Rwakihirwa in Kamuganguzi Sub County, Kabale District along Kabale-Kisoro road. Last year, five people died on spot at Kaharo trading centre when a trailer registration number RAC 484T/RL0675 travelling from Kigali to Kampala collided with a Toyota Noah registration number UAP 798S that was heading to Kabale. This too was driving on the wrong side of the road.  

On Thursday, a yet to be identified Ugandan Driver died after a head on collision with a Fuso lorry destined for Kampala that had not changed the driving side after entering Uganda.

On the same day, during a joint meeting of police chiefs from Rwanda and Uganda at Lake View Resort Hotel in Mbarara, harmonising the driving sides was one of the issues discussed.

The meeting was co-chaired by General Kale Kayihura, Uganda's Inspector General of Police and Emanuel Ganasana, the Commissioner General of Rwanda National Police.

The two police chiefs expressed the need to address the challenge of traffic accidents arising out of the failure to change the driving sides once the drivers cross the borders.

The 10th Joint meeting also took a decision that similar meetings be held quarterly to ensure that the police in the two countries share information and jointly pursue criminals.

Dr. Steven Kasiima, the Police Commissioner in Charge of Traffic, revealed that the challenge of motor accidents as a result of the failure to change driving sides is a serious one especially along the Northern corridor from Mombasa through Busia-Kampala - Kabale to Katuna. 

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Kasiima says that police have agreed to put signposts and billboards on the major highways reminding drivers of the sides that they must keep.

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Rwanda National Police Commissioner General, Emanuel Gasana, said that the police in both countries will work closely to ensure that the challenge of accidents on the major highways is addressed.

Gasana further revealed that they have embarked on laying new joint strategies to combat sophisticated crime. 

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Gen.Kale Kayihura  said that the police in the two countries will not only focus on checking accidents along the Northern Corridor but also move in to get rid of the criminals along the roads.

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The meeting was attended by heads of police departments from the two countries.

 

 

About the author

Anthony Kushaba
For Anthony Kushaba, journalism is not just a job; it is a calling. Kushaba believes journalism is one of the few platforms where the views of the oppressed and margainalised can be heard. This is what his journalism aims to do: bring to light untold stories.

Kushaba is the Mbarara region URN bureau chief. Mitooma, Ntungamo, Bushenyi, Sheema, Isingiro, and Kiruhura districts fall under his docket. Kushaba has been a URN staff member since 2012.

Kushaba is a journalism graduate from Uganda Christian University Study Centre at Bishop Barham College in Kabale. Before joining URN, Kushaba worked with Voice of Kigezi (2008), Bushenyi FM (2010) and later on to Voice of Muhabura.

Kushaba's journalism interests centre on conflict, peace and electoral reporting. Kushaba occasionally writes on tourism, health, religion and education. He describes himself as highly driven and will pursue a tip until it yields a story.