Assessment of the Level of Road User’s Awareness and Adherence on Measures to Control Road Traffic Accidents: A Case Study of Mbarara District
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Road traffic accidents in Mbarara are causing injuries, loss of lives and damage of properties. The process of urbanization, the resultant motorization and the recent developments in road infrastructure, more specifically the construction of tarmac roads, are seen to contribute to more road accidents. Therefore, the study has endeavored to answer the question as to what extent road users in Mbarara district are knowledgeable and aware of road traffic rules. The study poses that knowledge of traffic rules is essential for application of safety measures, which leads to responsible behavior on the road and consequently result in reduction of road traffic accidents. Using a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods, the researcher chose the setting of his study to be Mbarara to Masaka, high street and Rwebikoona Roads, both being the heaviest traffic lanes and also the most affected by road accidents. Samples totaling 100 respondents were drawn from 4 major groups of respondents, namely pedestrians and passengers, drivers, and motorists/cyclists, and key informants. Data were collected using questionnaires, interviews and direct observation. Research results show that knowledge of traffic rules varies greatly among respondents by type of road user, with vehicle drivers scoring highest and pedestrians being the least knowledgeable of all. The researcher recommends increasing and diversifying road user education, tailored to specific needs of each group, and enforcement of traffic rules and strengthening with corrective measures, and improvement of road infrastructure through increase of road signs and markings.