Legislators have rejected a provision in the Traffic and Road Safety Act 1998 (Amendment) Bill 2019 that makes it mandatory for road users to render assistance to accident victims.
Among other provisions, the bill is aimed at strengthening road transport regulation and road safety management addressing the existing challenges such as new and emerging trends, increased number of road users and the need to conform to the regional and international agreements where Uganda is a signatory to.
According to the Bill, road users “must” render assistance to accident victims including calling for help and contacting emergency services, securing the accident scene, organizing resources to enable first responders to conduct rescue operations, administering first aid and transporting the injured persons to a hospital if no ambulance is available.
However, MPs led by Shadow Attorney General, Wilfred Niwagaba and the Opposition Chief Whip Ssemujju Nganda said that the committee’s recommendation is not different from what has been proposed in the Bill, because both want to impose obligations on road users adding that assisting accident victims should at all times be voluntary not mandatory.
Despite disagreements on whether assistance to accident victims should be mandatory, MPs approved the proposal in the Bill that makes it obligatory for a hospital, clinic or any other health facility to provide medical treatment to an accident victim without proof of financial ability to pay until he or she has stabilized.