Road safety advocate Mr Joseph Beyanga commonly known as Joe Walker is set to walk again in another road safety awareness drive. Mr Beyanga has announced that he will be hitting the road for a 45km road safety awareness walk come June 17, 2023, in Uganda’s capital, Kampala.
He made the revelation during a road safety awareness Twitter space hosted by Hovita on Tuesday evening.
“We are doing Kampala walk on 17th June, Hill to Hill 45 kilometres. We have stretches of 5 kilometres for the young ones and 10 kilometres for those who cannot stretch to 45 kilometres. We are doing all this for road safety. We have activities like painting zebra crossings, visiting the victims of road crashes, and see how we can support each other as we continue to raise awareness on road safety,” Mr Beyanga said.
The Twitter space attracted various road safety activists and other stakeholders from government agencies and ministries for a vibrant and deeper conversation themed “Re-thinking mobility”.
While reacting to calls by road safety activists to regulate the speed of vehicles, Commissioner for Transport Regulation and Safety, Mr Winston Katushabe said the government has plans to streamline the speed limit, further explaining that Parliament has since passed a bill to regulate errant drivers.
“I’ve also heard people talking of the speed limit of 30 kilometres, you are aware Parliament recently passed the Bill and we are working on the regulation. We think where we have challenges like school zones, hospitals, churches, those heavily congested areas, then we should be able to encourage vehicles to drive 30kms per hour,” Mr. Katushabe said.
On her part, Ms Jackie Okao, a road safety activist re-echoed that Uganda loses between 10 to 12 people every day in road crashes, something she wants to change. She highlighted the need to formulate strict laws to curb speed, which she described as one of the risk factors.
“…we have 50% of the people walking and only 10% driving in private cars and yet when you look at our roads, they are clearly structured for drivers. Streets are supposed to be safe. We are not supposed to have injuries and deaths on the streets and that is where the issue of speed comes in,” Ms Okao said.
Meanwhile, Ms Robinah Nampeera from Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) lauded road safety activists’ efforts towards restoring sanity on the roads. Nampeera shared that while UNRA has achieved so much, it is still challenged by vandals who continue to steal road infrastructure. She says this has complicated the authority’s efforts towards making roads safe for the citizens. She was responding to various concerns from Ugandans who wanted answers on the authority’s road safety efforts.
Joe Walker’s 45km Kampala walk is set to follow his Kampala to Mbale trek which was held in February this year. The walk will also run under his road safety slogans; Too Young to Die, Safe Roads Save Lives, as well as Stay in Your Lane.