KAMPALA – The Deputy Speaker of Parliament Thomas Tayebwa has on Monday, February 06, 2023, flagged off a 225km road safety awareness walk where Mr. Joseph Beyanga, will be walking from Kampala to Mbale City.
Mr. Beyanga, who is the head of Radio under Nation Media Group Uganda (NMG-U) was flagged off at Independence Monument Speke Road, at 6:30 am.
Tayebwa who sanctioned the second edition of the walk, dubbed, JoeWalker said the cause Mr. Beyanga is championing is a concern ‘for all of us’.
“Recently I lost a brother in law in an accident, we lost our brother and wife, Hon. [Patrick] Okabe, and very many other people we might not know. What he is doing, he is doing it for us. He is not just doing it for himself. He is bringing core issues to the fore and this brings to the fact that every citizen has an obligation,” Tayebwa said.
The Deputy Speaker added that road safety should be a concern of everybody and that it requires mass mobilization.
“You don’t need to be occupying a position of responsibility, but from whoever you’re, whether you’re an ordinary citizen, or you’re a so-called VIP, there matters which require public mobilization. Accidents, issues of the environment, these are issues [that] you can’t shoot down with a gun,” Tayebwa noted also listing poor time management among the leading causes of accidents on the road.
“I think one of the biggest causes of accidents and traffic jam [in Uganda] is because we don’t respect time. As someone knows that I have to go to a certain duty, I need around one hour of traffic jam but they choose to come around 30 minutes late then they start fidgeting on the road, some of them even abandon their cars and just jumping on boda bodas and sometimes knocking people along the way. It’s very important to keep time in whatever we are doing.”
Tayebwa said Mr. Beyanga had challenged parliament as an institution to do much more in terms of legislation, appropriation, and ensuring that it passes laws that are implementable.
“This gives us a challenge as a parliament, that if someone can sacrifice, to do all this walk, then it also put us under pressure to do much more in terms of legislation, appropriation, and ensuring that we have laws that work and implementable,” he added.
Mr. Beyanga said, his walk, themed; ‘Too Young to Die’ mainly targets the young people who are the most causalities.
“For starters, this year, we are focusing on young people and our theme is too young to die. More than 60 of the people who perish in road clashes are aged between 25 and 44. So, we are raising awareness to say that each one of us has a role to play in the issues of road safety,” Mr. Beyanga said.
He also called on the government to put road safety at the center of infrastructure development. “Let us create roads that are safe for all of us to use.”
Mr. Beyanga expects to spend between five to six days on the road.
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