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Drunkards to pay UGX400M over road nuisance

In the Roads, Bill 2018 tabled Minister of Works Monicah Azuba, people walking in the middle of roads under the influence of drugs and alcohol will be fined Ugx400M. (FILE PHOTO)

KAMPALA – The new legislation set to be scrutinised by Parliament is calling for people walking in the middle of roads under the influence of drugs and alcohol to be fined Ugx400M for posing danger to motorists and occupants of cars.

The details are contained in the Roads Bill 2018 that was tabled by the Minister of Works and Transport, Monicah Azuba and is under consideration by the Committee of Physical Infrastructure.

Section 69 of the bill touches on the subject of nuisance on roads which stipulates that a person who, on any public road; (a) makes or causes noise pollution; (b) plays any game to the annoyance or danger of persons using the public road; (c) pitches any tent, booth or stall without the permission of a road authority; (d) makes any fire without permission of a road authority.

Additionally, a person who walks along the road while under the influence of alcohol, narcotic drugs or other banned substance; or (f) places himself or herself in a road in such a manner as to cause danger or inconvenience to traffic, commits an offence and is liable, on conviction, to a fine not exceeding two thousand currency points or imprisonment not exceeding one year, or both.

According to the breakdown, each currency point is equivalent to Shs20,000 which brings the total fine of Shs400M.

The Bill in section 74 (1)stipulates that a person commits an offence under this Act if that person- (a) being a transporter, bypasses, absconds or evades a weighbridge or weighing station; (b) transports any load specified under section 40 or such other load specified by the Minister by regulations, without a special permit, (g) causes damage to any weighbridge, or weigh station, or to any weighing equipment or installation; (h) tampers with, distorts, forges or misrepresents any weighing certificate, special permit or any other record given under this Act commits an offence.

The Bill yet again seeks to bar motorists from operating vehicles with a defective suspension, dead man’s switch or other mechanisms in the vehicle that affects the weight of the vehicle; willfully provides false information to an authorised officer; (k) directly or indirectly offers or gives to an authorised officer or any other person, any payment or reward, proposes or enters into an agreement with an authorised officer or any other officer, in order to induce him or her to do, abstain from doing, permit, conceal, or connive at, any act or thing, whereby the relevant roads authority is or may be defrauded, conspires with another person or persons to contravene any of the Provisions of this Act.

The Bill stipulates a penalty for the offence in subsection (2) highlighting that a person who commits any of the above offences is liable, on conviction, to a fine not exceeding one hundred thousand currency points or imprisonment not exceeding twelve years or both.

If computed in the current price, each currency point is Shs20,000 meaning that those convicted of contravening regulations on weighbridges will be forced to pay Shs20Bn in fines.

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