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Gov’t to slap unlicenced drivers with 3-year-jail term

A Traffic Police officer slaps a truck driver with a traffic violations ticket. (PHOTO/File)

KAMPALA – The Ministry of Works and Transport is proposing to increase the punishment of motorists who drive without driving licenses.

The errant drivers will serve a jail term of up to three years if the proposal is implemented.

The Ministry’s ploy is contained in The Traffic and Road Safety Amendment Bill 2019 that was tabled before Parliament by the Minister of Works and Transport, Monica Azuba and referred to the Parliamentary Committee of Physical Infrastructure for scrutiny.

Azuba told lawmakers recently, that the new legislation is intended to amend the Traffic and Road Safety Act 1998 as well as strengthen road transport regulations and road safety management in Uganda.

Clause 60 of the new bill seeks to amend section 121 (1)of the Act that reads; A person who drives a motor vehicle, trailer or engineering plant on a road while he or she is—(a) disqualified from driving, or while he or she is not in possession of a valid driving permit or is in possession of a learner driving permit and is driving unaccompanied in the motor vehicle, trailer or engineering plant by a licensed instructor or driving, accompanied by a licensed instructor, in an unauthorised motor vehicle, trailer or engineering plant.

Or is 121 (1)(b) disqualified from driving because his or her driving permit has been cancelled by a court, commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine of not less than thirty currency points (approximately UGX 600,000) and not exceeding one hundred and fifty currency points or imprisonment of not less than one year and not exceeding five years or both.

However, in the Azuba proposal, the fines have been increased with the culprits expected to pay a fine of UGX6M and imprisonment not exceeding three years.

In another proposal, the Ministry is seeking to introduce another clause reading; A person involved in an accident shall have access to medical treatment at a hospital clinic or any other health facility without proof of financial ability to pay until he or she has been stabilised.

Another clause will be introduced in the bill that bars authorities from victimizing and unnecessarily inconveniencing a road user or person who transports a road-accident victim to a hospital or health facility in good faith to save a life.

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