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Link Bus Driver Arrested for Texting While Driving; Safety Concerns Grow

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A Link Bus driver, Andrew Jemba, was apprehended and charged after a viral video captured him texting his girlfriend while driving passengers, leading to serious safety concerns due to the company’s history of accidents.

The police, in a statement on Wednesday night, confirmed the arrest of Jemba, who was observed using his phone while driving along the Kampala – Fort Portal road. He faces charges under Regulation 3(a) & 4 of Traffic and Road Safety (Restriction of Use of Mobile Telephone) Regulations, 2004, and is currently held at Kyegegwa Police Station.

Acknowledging the public’s vigilance on road safety, the law enforcement body called for continued reporting and sharing of any information related to traffic violations.

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Passengers reported that Jemba was actively engaged in exchanging messages with his girlfriend while driving, causing them considerable concern about their safety during the journey.

The ongoing problem of road accidents in Uganda, particularly those involving Link Buses, has been partly attributed to reckless driving. Last year, a fatal accident along the Fort Portal-Kampala highway resulted in the loss of 25 lives. Investigations revealed overspeeding as the primary cause, despite the driver having a long history of experience without prior crashes or records of reckless driving.

Link Bus, responding to the recent incident involving Jemba, announced his suspension from duty following an internal investigation. The company condemned the driver’s behavior, emphasizing that it compromises their safety standards and tarnishes their brand reputation. Link Bus stated its collaboration with the Ministry of Works and Transport, and the police in addressing the matter.

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Police issued a warning to all motorists against using mobile phones while driving, citing it as a significant factor contributing to road crashes in the country.

Concerns about safety persist following incidents involving Link Buses, such as the recent overturning at Gwanika along the Fort Portal-Kampala highway, causing injuries to 23 individuals in February 2023.

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