increasingly, children are exposed to dangers when travelling in private cars, taxis and even boda boda’s.
Early this March, a child suffocated to death when he was accidentally locked in car by his playmates in Hoima as reported by Uganda Radio Network.
The Uganda Highway code instructs that a vehicle should have child locks, safety belts, child restraints and children should not be put front seats while travelling. At the same time it is mandatory to check beneath the car and inside before one starts off.
we spoke to some parents on road safety for children.
Christine Karanga, a mother of two, explained that it was not safe for children to sit in front of a car, in case of an accident they will be easily hurt or can be thrown out of the windscreen from the impact.
Although some parents cannot afford to drop the children to schools in private cars, the option is to use public service vehicles.
However, there are those who still resort to using boda boda’s, this presents a greater danger to the safety of the children.
The Uganda Highway code prohibits carrying of children on boda bodas, in the front seats of cars and public service vehicles.
Whether for children or adults, the code forbids standing in buses unless they are designed to have standing passengers.
Parents who are left without any option but to use boda boda’s like Grace Ayibarye, say though it is risky the child must have a helmet and put between the driver and the adult.
But Lawrence Niwabiine, Kampala Metropolitan Traffic Police Commander, says that it is the responsibility of parents to ensure the safety of their children on the road.
He adds that although it is the work of the traffic police to enforce road safety rules parents should not wait until an accident happens.
Doreen Kalimuzo, the Director of Honey Bears Pre-School, says that children should be introduced to road safety at an early age, adding that those charged with the care of the children should be more vigilant.
The 2013 WHO report on road safety indicate s that only 28 countries, covering 7% of the world’s population, have comprehensive road safety laws on five key risk factors including use of motorcycle helmets, seat-belts, and child restraints.