Factors influencing high accident rates among commercial motorcyclists (BODA BODA) in Kampala City, Uganda
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This study was prompted by high rates of death and injuries on Ugandan roads. Road traffic accidents in Uganda accounts for 27.4 deaths per 100,000 populations as a result of road traffic injuries (WHO road safety report, 2015). In 2011 alone, 3,343 people were reported to have lost lives due to motorcycle accidents (Uganda annual crime and traffic/road safety report, 2011). A study conducted by Naddumba et.al (2010) at Mulago referral hospital found that bodaboda crashes contributed to 41% of road traffic accidents on Ugandan roads. According to a report by Injury Control Centre Uganda, Mulago hospital receives 5 to 20 bodaboda related cases daily.4 This study therefore, set out to establish the underlying factors influencing high rate of accidents among commercial motorcyclists (bodaboda) within Kampala city, Uganda. One hundred and twenty (120) bodaboda riders as primary respondents were selected and interviewed from twenty-one (21) bodaboda stages which were sampled out of a sampling frame of one hundred and one (101) registered bodaboda stages within Kampala central division. Six (6) in-depth interviews were conducted on Kampala Central division bodaboda chairperson – 2014 administration, Kampala metropolitan traffic officer in charge, Mulago Hospital orthopedic ward in-charge and 3 bodaboda customers as secondary respondents. The study established that a large number of commercial motorcyclists (32.5%) used alcohol and/or psychoactive drugs during their job. 54.6(%) percent of the bodaboda riders had learned to ride informally from a friend or relative and 37(%) percent had taught themselves whilst only 8.4% learned through a driving school. It was also established that riders’ desire for quick financial gains led to a risky riding behavior among them with the large number of bodaboda respondents (53.2%) strongly agreeing to this. This study established that the number of bodaboda accidents is high on Kampala roads and if measures recommended in this study are not put in place to curb these accidents fast, commercial motorcycle accidents are going to spiral into a grave public health problem in the city. The study also lays ground for future research in this area and intends to influence the Ugandan government to facilitate establishment of appropriate institutional arrangements to provide long term coordination and oversight of the private driving school institutions to ensure that the passed-out riders are qualified to ride on the road.