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