Weekly Photo Challenge: Fleeting

Life is fleeting. To maximize our time we must live safely and responsibly. But this is not the case in many East African countries where motorcycles, commonly known as boda bodas, have become one of the most popular means of transport AND also the riskiest. So much so that many hospitals in Kenya and Uganda have opened special wards to cater for the rising number of boda boda accident victims.

Visit any Tanzanian, Kenyan, or Ugandan town and you’ll witness reckless driving and blatant violation of traffic laws and safety:

  • Mothers hitching boda boda rides with their infants
  • Multiple passengers and their luggage riding a single boda boda (overloading is a common feature)
  • Underage and unlicensed driving of boda bodas

I captured this boy driving a boda boda in Tukuyu, Tanzania. Notice the lack of helmet and proper shoes.

Despite the tremendous safety risk, people are ignorant and/or blinded by the seeming advantages of these death traps. Boda bodas offer the fastest form of public transportation, particularly in hard to reach village towns. They are swift, cost efficient, and can easily navigate dense traffic. Importantly, operating a boda boda is a source of income for numerous unemployed youth.

So where to from here?

Authorities are now cracking down on motor cyclists and seizing boda bodas in many cities across East Africa. According to New Vision, some cyclists have been caught transporting up to 7 school children in various city suburbs!

Clearly there needs to be an urgent push towards educating riders and passengers on the dangers of boda bodas. There needs to be better legislation and law enforcement promoting the safe and responsible use of boda bodas.

Life is too fleeting to waste away due to ignorance.

No helmets, no safety, no traffic laws apply to the boda boda

This post was inspired by the Weekly Photo Challenge: Fleeting.

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15 thoughts on “Weekly Photo Challenge: Fleeting

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  2. Pingback: weekly-photo-challenge-fleeting/Fleeting Moments #photography | Moondustwriter's Blog

  3. Reminds me a little of scooters in Taiwan. I’ve seen families pile as many as five people onto a single scooter driving around the crazy streets in Taipei. Not safe at all, though I don’t know that there are a high number of fatalities every year due to scooters…. Great pictures and an important message…

    Like

    • Yeah thanks! In East Africa this reckless driving is epidemic. Problem is people seem to have a laissez-faire attitude towards safety and regulations. After all, seat belts and baby/toddler car seats are considered recommendations vs the law. So you can imagine trying to institute change regarding boda bodas. This is a cause that’s really close to my heart.

      Like

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