Maybe your Boda Boda guy is not the problem.

On my way home, I usually use a taxi (14 sitter public transportation vehicle)

Source: shutterstock.com

from Wandegeya to City Square and then get another taxi to my final destination. Last evening I was in such a hurry because I had a thing to catch up with at home, and since traffic jam was already building up, I decided to use a Boda Boda (motorcycle).

Source: ghafla.com

It was not a “Safe Boda” because finding one meant spending more time which I was already trying to beat. Safe Boda is a regular Boda Boda but much safer and professional. If you want to know more about safe Boda, head to www.safeboda.com

Source: bigeye.ug

I hopped onto a regular Boda Boda and off I went. What you should know is that the regular Boda Bodas are considered quite dangerous to use by many a Ugandan because of the reputation the cyclists have for being reckless road users. Quite frankly though, my boda boda guy for the evening was a safe rider and he avoided using the routes cars usually flooded, anyway so thank you Jesus! I was safe.

About 10 minutes later, we had just made the turn leading to my destination when I literally saw my whole life flash before me.

A range rover appeared from ahead of us at break neck speed, with no intention of swerving out of the way. Thank God the Boda Boda guy was fast enough to swerve before the range rover human closed the distance between him and us. Just like he had appeared, the range rover human disappeared at the same break neck speed like nothing unusual had happened, leaving the Boda Boda cyclist and I speechless and shaken. My heart was racing! I stepped down of the Boda Boda, paid the cyclist and walked the rest of the distance.

Why am I writing about this?.

Over half of the road accidents I’ve heard about in Uganda are Boda Boda related. I personally know people who have died or been injured through getting involved in a Boda Boda accident. And every time, the blame is put on the Boda Boda cyclists. Honestly, some, if not most of them are reckless, impatient and make risky decisions on the road. So I see where the blame is coming from.

However, many a time I wonder if all the time we see a Boda Boda accident, the cyclist had everything to do with it. My opinion is in the negative. Sometimes the cars are the problem. Have you ever been standing a safe distance away from the roadside but you literally had to jump into the nearby bush or trench because a fast moving car seemed like it was going to knock you? Have you ever felt like a car was coming right for your Boda Boda that you had to signal to them to slow down? Have you ever felt like a car wanted to overtake so bad that it could literally move on top of yours if it could so you just had to let them pass? Have you? I have, because these happen everyday. But when the accidents happen, everyone will point at the Boda Boda cyclist.

This reminds me of a blog post I read a few years ago. The blogger was writing about a conversation he heard while in a taxi. The driver was proudly telling a passenger he was having the conversation with that Boda Boda cyclists are so annoying and reckless that he sometimes knocks them intentionally to teach them a lesson!…and this guy he was talking to said he does the same thing too! Sounds like a very bad joke, right? Nope, its not. If you want to read it, the story was published on 14th May 2015 on dkawalya44.wordpress.com with the title “Among Heartless Humans”. But of course, the Boda Boda cyclist is always the problem…even for an accident caused by such heartlessness, he will be blamed.

My view is; every Ugandan is under a duty to make sure our roads are safe. Boda Boda, pedestrian, driver, etc, we all have the right to a safe road but also owe each other the obligation of using the road responsibly.

Have a good day.

Atim.

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3 comments

  1. Hello Atim. Such an inciteful post. As a Nigerian, I can totally relate with this post. We call those regular bike men ‘Okada men’ over here. And true, they can be overly reckless. I’ve been witness to many an accident caused by their carefree attitude. However, just as you stated, they are not the only case of road mishaps. Even the car driver is culpable, especially (and surprisingly enough) the so-called educated ones. It’s sad that the bulk of the blame for these incidents are often put on the motorcyclists. I guess this is one reason why the phenomenon of road accidents is becoming endemic. If every road user will act responsibly and do the needful, the road will be safe for all to use.

    Liked by 1 person

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