Only 39% of boda boda riders use helmets-report

Even among those who use helmets, the majority do it all wrong,

Results from a recent study on the status of road safety in Kampala have revealed that a few boda boda riders while almost none of the passengers are using helmets despite awareness about their protectiveness.Top of Form

Sharing the findings, Bonny Balugaba, a researcher based at Makerere University School of Public Health, said they had been collecting data on helmet use and speed in Kampala from 2021 and found that only 39% of the riders are using helmets.

“Even among those who use helmets, the majority do it all wrong yet scientific evidence shows using helmets correctly, can reduce the risk of fatality by 42% and risk of head injury by 69% in case of a crash,” he said.

While some people quote trivial reasons such as fear of messing up their hair for not wearing helmets, Balugaba said there is a need to review the helmets on the market.

Apart from helmet use, researchers also assessed speed and found that speeding was highest and beyond the recommended speed limits for urbanized areas among drivers of SUV cars.

“These were followed by Saloon cars. The average speed among vehicles was high at 57km/hr and yet the global recommendation is 30km/hr for local and collector roads,” added Balugaba.

Traffic Police Spokesperson Micheal Kananura acknowledged the challenge but said they are too understaffed to fully man the roads for speed.

In 2022, boda bodas were involved in 43% of all road accidents in Uganda, resulting in 1,422 deaths and 401 injuries.

According to traffic police statistics, 4,159 road accident fatalities countrywide were recorded in the previous year of 2021. Of these 1,390 involved were motorcycle riders while 528 were passengers on motorcycles.

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