DISTRIBUTION OF SAFE HELMETS REPORT LAUNCHED
The 18th of October 2022 has seen the Road Safety Coalition Uganda (ROSACU) through one of its Civil Society Organisations (CSO)- Safe Way Right Way (SWRW) officially launch a report on “The distribution of Safe Helmets in the market.” SWRW had initially commissioned a market analysis aimed at understanding the current state of helmet distribution and usage in Kampala. This study was to further guide SWRW in supporting Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) and other stake holders in the review and update of the 2011 UNBS helmet standards and the adaptation of the updated standards into the motorcycle and tricycle regulations.
This report launch comes at a time when motorcycle related fatalities have been steadily increasing over the past 15 years. In Kampala alone helmet ownership is the highest among employed riders (93.3%), followed by Boda riders (91.4%). Motorcycle crashes have increased by 42% in Uganda from 2020 to 2021.
According to the study, the main reason for not wearing helmets all the time is discomfort and overheating. However, those riders using the high standard helmets complained less about these issues. The study also revealed that while 90% of riders in Kampala own a helmet, only 5.8% of passengers do. Half of the passengers said they didn’t believe owning a helmet was necessary. Despite the high percentage of ownership, only 69% of motorcycle riders wear their helmets.
A full faced helmet offers the best protection for both rider and passenger so it’s most recommended. 1 in 20 passengers in Kampala own and regularly use helmets. However, for Boda Boda riders, around 22% of helmets owned came with the motorcycle.
As ROSACU, we call upon the Ministry of Works and Transport to align the regulations for helmet use with global best practices and to collaborate with UNBS to update the standards for helmet use for children and adults.
SWRW has intentions of training road safety champions to advocate for the adoption of these standards once they are approved by UNBS. They will also hold a mass campaign to communicate the helmet standards and empower people to purchase the right helmets, build the capacity of importers to ensure that they know and understand the helmet standards and work with distributors to encourage riders to purchase the right helmets.
Much as a report has been launched, what sensitization techniques would you recommend that Ministry of Works and Transport, and other stakeholders should use to push the message on the importance of wearing a standard helmet?
Scan the QR code to access the detailed report on helmet usage in Uganda.Tags: road safety, Road safety advocacy