KAMPALA – Police is seeking Parliament to insert a clause in the proposed Traffic and Road Safety Amendment bill 2019, to give the Force mandate to license the operations of motor garages across the country.
The proposal was presented to the Parliamentary Physical Infrastructure Committee by the head of traffic police AIGP Steven Kasiima during consideration of the bill by the Committee.
Kasiima said that the committee should think of licensing garages and those with no standard garages closed saying the absence of laws to license these garages has seen theft of vehicles and boda bodas which get dismantled and sold off as spare parts, this has been on the increase in recent times across the country.
He said that some vehicle drivers and bodaboda riders are killed and their vehicles and motorcycles are taken to these garages and vital parts are plus ked off as spare parts for sale in the second-hand markets.
He said, “I was in a meeting with Police senior leaders and they asked me to tell the committee to think about licensing of garages and those who don’t have places with standards shouldn’t be licensed. This is to do with escalating boda boda theft and deaths because some are taken to those garages, dismantled because they aren’t licensed, they aren’t known. We should deal with people we know. In addition, places that sale vehicle spare parts should also be licensed.”
Police is seeking to regulate tinted cars saying most of them are used to commit criminal acts with Kansiima saying, “The law doesn’t talk about tinted vehicles. The old law only provides for cars that carry passengers but the law doesn’t talk about other vehicles. As a result, everybody goes to Kiseka market, buys kaveera, puts it there. It can only be allowed for medical or security reasons, fortunately, our President’s cars don’t have tints. I wonder why they put these opaque tints.”
The Minister of Works and Transport, Eng. Monica Azuba tabled The Traffic and Road Safety Amendment Bill 2019 that seeks to amend the 1998 Act before Parliament and Deputy Speaker, Jacob Oulanyah referred the Bill to the Physical Infrastructure Committee for scrutiny.
While tabling the Bill, Azuba said that the legislation is proposing new traffic and road safety measures intended to strengthen road transport regulation and management The Bill tabled before Parliament by According to Azuba, the Bill and would take into account new and emerging trends and dynamics in road transport and road safety management, the increased number of road users, and the need to conform to the regional and international agreements Uganda is signatory to.
Government is proposing to convict offenders causing death to other road users to a period of ten years due to reckless driving as well as imprison individuals for injuring other road users will be a subject for debate.
The proposal reads; “A person who causes the death of any person by reckless driving of a motor vehicle, trailer or engineering plant commits an offence and is liable, on conviction, to imprisonment of not exceeding ten years.”
The same Bill stipulates; A person who causes bodily injury to any person by reckless driving of a motor vehicle, trailer or engineering plant commits an offence and is liable, on conviction to a fine not exceeding three years or both.
As opposed to the old legislation that was silent on definition of reckless driving, this time around, reckless driving has been defined as; driving over prescribed speed limit, failing to use signal, disobeying traffic signs and signals, drifting into another lane, distracted driver, using handheld mobile phone while driving, driving under influence of drink and drugs, failing to stop for a pedestrian at designated pedestrian crossing.
Another new requirement by the Bill that departs from the existing law, is that motorists will be required to carry their original driving licences, or permits at all times while driving.
There is a proposal to amend Section 119 of the current act with new measures on careless or inconsiderate use of motor vehicle with the ne proposal stipulating, “Every person who uses, parks or stands a motor vehicle, trailer or engineering plant on any road carelessly or without reasonable consideration for other persons using the road commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine of not less than five currency points and not exceeding thirty currency points or imprisonment of not less than one month and not exceeding one year or both.
The new proposal has increased the fine to Shs6M and imprisonment not exceeding six months given that each currency point is equivalent to Shs20,000 and the new proposal puts the fine at 300 currency points up from the 30 currency points and one-month imprisonment in the current law.