By Mutabazi Sam Stewart
Bodaboda also known as Okada or Motor cycle taxis are a very big menace to society. In Kampala city and its surroundings at least four people lose their lives every day in Bodaboda accidents. Many more people are injured while others become permanently incapacitated after accidents.
Bodaboda in some case could be the best option available to some people at a particular time due to different reasons. The main reason is that Bodaboda can easily is quicker during heavy traffic. Some one may be in a hurry and thus cannot use other means like Taxis and buses.
To some people therefore, Bodaboda is a necessary evil which is very risky but all the same they have to use it coz it’s the best available option in some cases. It’s therefore important that riders understand that if they must use Bodaboda, they have to protect themselves in order to minimize the risk of them getting involved in an accident and even of they were to, they could escape unhurt or at least with minor injuries.
For as long as Bodaboda are still engaged in the business of transporting people and as long as they still compete space with vehicles on roads, the chances of accidents happening are very high. In the likely event that you must use a Bodaboda please ensure the following for your own safety. These are the ten key points to consider before and while riding a Bodaboda. Refer to them regularly and you will be safe. Ignore them and you put your life at a great risk.
- Do not use Bodaboda on long distance journeys. The longer the distance the more the likelihood of an accident
- Do not allow your rider to maneuver in between cars and more especially when there are big vehicles, trailers and trucks.
- Do not allow the Bodaboda to carry another passenger with you.
- Advise your rider accordingly while in his/ her bike on how to ride. Do not be a passive passenger
- Tell your rider to respect all traffic rules including stopping at traffic lights
- Do not allow your rider to speak on phone while riding
- Do not allow your rider to stop by the road side especially in busy areas.
- Passengers especially women should sit with legs apart on the motorbike seat. Seating in a position where the legs are facing in same direction is very risky in case the rider loses balance
- Wear a helmet if you have one
- Use new motor bikes instead of the old ones that are in a dangerous mechanical Condition.
The word accident means a bad occurrence that happens unexpectedly. Accidents are never planned. They just happen. No one knows when and how accident is going to happen otherwise they could avoid them. Many riders have been lucky and have used Bodaboda for many years and have never gotten any firm of accident. There are others however who have been unlucky. What is not in dispute is that Bodaboda are quite unsafe because of the numbers that have died or been maimed. The ten points may not be a water-tight solution but they surely will help in reducing the chances of you having a fatal Bodaboda accident. Safe travels.