Ministry of Education and Sports advocate for Helmet use for all school-going pupils to protect the future generation from perishing in a road safety Head Up Campaign
Head Up Campaign: In a move to reduce Motorcycle accidents among School going children, Ministry of Education and Sport have argued pupils to use Helmets while sitting on a boda boda cycle on their way to and from school.
The State Minister for Primary Education, Rosemary Seninde disclosed the plan during a road safety campaign launch titled Head up! At Nateete Junior School, purposely to protect our children from road safety dangers.
Seninde adds that government had to step up in protecting the children because they are the future of the nation, and if they are not protected, Uganda’s future will vanish.
“Not every parent has a car. The modest means of transport is a boda boda. The issue is that it must be safe. We have to remind people that our children are our future. Without them, we have no future. If we do not protect them, the future is not safe.”
“It is really important that our children get to understand that without a helmet, they must not sit on a boda boda,” Seninde added.
Seninde further appealed to the traffic department to implement, enforce policies, guidelines and laws regarding carrying more than one passenger on a motorcycle, stating that when these children get involved in an accident, it’s a great loss to the country.
“There are motorcyclists who bypass traffic lights and personnel carrying more than two school children. Something has to be done, because when these children are involved in an accident, its immeasurable great pain and loss to the country,” Seninde said.
Corporate communications manager Vivo Energy Uganda, Valery Oketcho speaking said that the “Head Up campaign” was stretched to public schools in Kampala area, purposely to introduce and promote compulsory use of child-specific helmets for school going children to protect them from road accidents.
“We researched the participating schools to find out how many children report to school on boda bodas. This informed us in the procurement process and distribution,” Oketcho said.
He adds that parents and school heads need to adjust to the new change so that children in this country are protected.
“It is a behavioural change campaign to inform parents who take their children to school on boda bodas that they need to protect them. The riders sometimes have a helmet but children do not,” Oketcho added.
“Head Up Campaign” was a joint campaign between Vivo Energy Uganda and Safe Boda Uganda. After Nateete the campaign is expected to be extended to other 12 public schools situated in the high trafficked area in Kampala.
And after the campaign, Vivo Energy and Safe boda will distribute Helmets to schools’ management to give them out to pupils who use boda bodas as transport means to attend school.
However, the partnership said that more Helmets will be available for purchase at all Shell service stations for the public at a reduced price.
Recent Africa Community Access Partnership (AFCAP), research on motorcycle use indicate that only 2% of motorcyclists attended a driving school, while 10% have a riding license.
Reports also indicate that 41% of motorcyclists have Helmets and only 25% wear them, while motorcycle injuries are recorded at 48% which is a high proportion.
Furthermore, reports show that in 2018, 380 motorcycle passengers died, while 878 motorcyclists died as well in the same year. 1,725, motorcycle passengers were seriously injured while 2,356, injured persons were motorcyclists.
197 passengers sustained minor injuries while motorcyclist who sustained minor injuries were 220.