The Minister of State for Transport, Fred Byabakama, claimed that 95% of the bodaboda riders in Kampala exhibit reckless behavior, which he attributes to the high number of road crashes involving them and their passengers.
During the launch of a global review report on traffic crashes and safe school zones by Hope for Victims of Traffic Accidents (HOVITA), Byabakama asserted that a sample of 171 bodaboda riders examined by KCCA officials showed an overwhelming majority to be reckless.
To address the issue of road crashes caused by these reckless riders, Byabakama proposed declaring boda-boda as a no-go zone, particularly for parents using them to transport children to school.
However, Siraje Mutyaba, the leader of boda-boda riders in Kampala Central, disputed the minister’s statistics, acknowledging that there are riders who could be considered reckless but arguing that they don’t constitute 95% of the sector.
Sam Bambanza, the executive director of HOVITA, emphasized the need to protect children on the roads by implementing a 30kph speed limit in school zones, as statistics revealed a significant number of child casualties in road crashes.
Byabakama also highlighted that the boda-boda sector attracts criminals, including rapists, robbers, and defilers. He recounted an incident where he encountered a wanted criminal during an engagement with boda-boda riders.
Mutyaba admitted that the transport sector attracts individuals from all walks of life, including criminals, and expressed frustration that some arrested criminals are released by corrupt police officers.
Jackie Okao of the Global Health Advocacy Incubator-GHAI raised concerns about parents who endanger their children by allowing them to travel long distances on boda-bodas to reach school.
MP Alex Ruhinda referred to a recent tragic incident involving a taxi carrying 17 passengers, questioning why vehicles in dangerous conditions are allowed on the roads while endangering other road users.