Voice of Lango

Road safety activists devise new strategies to reach motorists

31 March 2024, 9:15 pm

Boda-boda riders at a stage along Obote Avenue, Lira city.

By Denish Ongora


Road safety activists have devised different strategies aimed to improve inclusion of motorists in road safety training in Lira city.

This comes as low participation in road safety training is being witnessed among boda-boda riders in Lira city and parts of Lango sub region.

The Uganda Passengers and Pedestrian Association-UPAPA, police and associations of boda-boda riders jointly held more than four road safety trainings in Lira city since 2022 but few motorists attended the same.

Out of 2,000 boda-boda riders registered under Lira city Boda-boda Association, only about 500 to 600 have attended road safety trainings.

Meanwhile, out of 483 drivers registered under Lira Urban transporters Saaco, only 180 attended the road safety training at Lira city hall, 200 attended the training at Lira district council hall, 280 had the same training at Lira central division hall, all in 2022 and 300 attended a training organized by Vivo Energy and Shell at good news hotel last year.

UPAPA is now training people per district with mobilization being done by respective District Chief Administrative Officers.

Under this arrangement, civil servants in Kole, Oyam and Alebtong districts have so far attained this training.

They have also received invitation from companies offering motorcycles on loan such as Tugende and Watu to conduct such trainings for their staff.

Anyeko on training

However, they are facing several challenges in training motorists, such as financial constraint and failure to get ample time to sensitize the masses on road safety at funerals and churches, according to the general secretary of UPAPA, Benard Anyeko Massanga.

UPAPA requires about four days to complete training course units ranging from; causes of road crash and prevention, traffic rules and regulations, crime prevention, personal code of conduct, work ethics, first aid, simple mechanical handling of vehicles and firefighting.

Anyeko alleged that some drivers and riders demand for allowances to attend the trainings, which has proved unfeasible.

Lira United Motorcycle Bodaboda Association-LUMBA on the other hand conducts prior trainings for boda boda riders who get motorcycles on loan from them in areas of road signs, over taking and helmet use among others.

LUMBA chairperson, Okori Moses told Voice of Lango that the association is working with politicians to have a permit issuance center established in Lira city to ease access of driving and riding permits by motorists. 

North Kyoga police spokesperson, SP Jimmy Patrick Okema, assured the public of their commitment in working with such organizations and radios to sensitize the masses on road safety.

However, Okema accused bodaboda riders of laziness in attending road safety trainings, with excuses of having busy schedules.

Okema on boda-bodas

Some boda boda cyclists at a stage in Adidikgweno, Boke ward, Lira City east division who pleaded for anonymity admitted that they have been boycotting the road safety trainings because it wastes their time which could be used to make money.

Some of them reasoned that the companies that offered them motorcycles on loan could easily impound the motorcycles from training venues since some of them are loan defaulters.

However, Chairperson, Lira City Bodaboda Association Odongo Sam refuted those claims saying he wrote and requested for a week grace period from the said companies to have boda-boda riders attend the trainings but the majority of them still did not comply.

Odongo believes those who have at least attended a single training are cautious when using the road.

 “When I stand at the junction, I can easily identify that, that one (a boda-boda rider) is trained, the other one is not”, Odongo observed.

Oludi Barnabas, 25, a bodaboda rider in Lira city who attended road safety training at the Mayors garden once last year, attributed rising cases of road crashes among boda-boda riders to over speeding, over loading and speaking on phone while riding among others.