KAMPALA – Ugandans who take more than two years without renewing their driving licenses will be required to sit for an exam before allowed to drive on roads across the country.
This follows the decision by Parliament to approve a proposal in the Traffic and Road Safety Bill 2019 that proposes in Clause 24(c) that requires a person whose driving permits has not been renewed within two years from the date of expiry to undergo theory and practical tests before the license is renewed.
It should be recalled that the Traffic and Road Safety Act 1998 (Amendment) Bill, 2019 was tabled before Parliament on 17th July 2019 and referred to the Committee on Physical Infrastructure for scrutiny.
While tabling the Bill last year, former Minister of Works and Transport, Monica Azuba said that the objective of the Bill is to amend the Traffic and Road Safety Act, 1998 Cap 361 to strengthen road transport regulation and road safety management in Uganda.
She said that the Bill seeks to address the inadequacies in the current law that have greatly impended effective operationalization of the Act, emerging trends and challenges of road transport regulation and road safety management arising from the increased number of road users, increased accidents on the roads and the need to conform to international and regional best practices on traffic and road safety management.
The government argued that the current law is outdated and incapable of contending with the contemporary challenges of the road transport sub-sector such as the increased number of road users on Uganda’s road networks including motorcycles (popularly known as boda bodas) and the increased cases of road accidents.
Robert Ssekitoleeko, Chairperson Committee on Physical Infrastructure tabled the Committee report noting that the proposed amendment since it is aimed at improving driver quality for enhanced road safety.
“This will go a long way in stemming the high levels and cost of road carnage in the country. In addition, the proposed amendment will save permit holders the inconvenience of having to start, the process of securing a driving licence afresh as is the case under the current law.”
Once signed by President Museveni, the validity time for driving license will increase from the current three years to five years.
The Ministry of Works and Transport in Clause 2a4(a) of the Bill seeks to amend Section 42 of the principal Act to introduce the validity period of five years for a driving licence in addition to the already existing validity periods of two and three years respectively.