KAMPALA – Bolt Uganda has introduced a 12-hour time cap for drivers on the ride-hailing platform. The working time limit has been instituted to ensure that drivers arrive for trips energized and rejuvenated.
The restriction on the number of hours will allow drivers to prioritize other engagements such as family needs, rest, recreational, educational, and entrepreneurial activities.
Bolt made the decision to implement this as a response to the problem of drowsy driving and driver fatigue, both of which continue to affect people on the roads.
Starting this month, upon spending up to 12 hours of driving with Bolt, the app will notify the driver to take a 6 hour break.
Moses Mugerwa, the Bolt Uganda Operations Manager explained that the restrictions are meant to prevent accidents caused by drowsy driving and are already in place in some countries. He shared that Bolt is now broadening the rule to all their global riders and drivers that use its app.
“Bolt strongly supports driver safety and believes in leveraging technology to develop ways of working that make transportation safer. You’ll need to be offline for 6 hours before your driving hour timer is reset and you can start driving again,” he said.
According to traffic police records for the last four years, at least 2,634 pedestrians and cyclists are killed on Ugandan roads each year. An examination of road fatalities between 2016 and 2019 reveals that 10,537 pedestrians and riders were killed on city streets, highways, and village roads. Driver fatigue is also listed as a leading cause of these accidents.
“The app helps you to keep track of your time and make roads safer for both drivers and riders. They based this feature on expert guidelines that show that driving for long periods of time without taking a break increases the risk of an accident on the road,” Mr Mugerwa shared.
He also stated that because there are government guidelines in place to combat the ongoing pandemic, Bolt operates until the assigned curfew times, which are 6 p.m. for boda bodas and 7 p.m. for vehicles, and then turns off during curfew times.
Mugerwa explained that Bolt has studied the feature in other countries where it has been implemented and has built a version with a lot of feedback in mind so that it works properly.
“Some may forget to take time off to rest in the rapidly expanding gig economy. As a result, this feature will provide additional comfort and peace of mind to drivers and passengers.”