Uganda police vows to arrest errant drivers flouting COVID-19 guidelines ahead of Christmas festivities

CP Basil Mugisha
Commissioner of Police – CP Basil Mugisha, Traffic Police Director

Kampala, Uganda | URN | With only 11 days left to Christmas day, the Traffic Police in Uganda have vowed to arrest all drivers violating traffic rules on both major and access routes.

Commissioner of Police [CP] Basil Mugisha, who is the Acting director for traffic, said they have already deployed enough personnel and increased checkpoints on highways and town service roads to ensure all those flouting traffic laws are arrested and charged.

Mugisha said they are targeting incompetent drivers, vehicles in dangerous mechanical conditions and those driving while drunk. Others who will be arrested, according to Mugisha, are those who will be found flouting COVID-19 directives.

Ministry of Health limited public transport to half capacity of the vehicles in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Private vehicles are also limited to carrying only four people regardless of the size. In addition, all passengers in public and private vehicles are supposed to be wearing face masks.

Traffic police records of 2019 put December and January as the months that registered the highest numbers of deaths resulting from traffic accidents. At least 364 died in December last year while 376 died in January.

Police attribute the high deaths in December to excitement where people drive carelessly and others drive fast to reach their destinations. Others drivers according to police spend time drinking in bars and then drive under the influence of alcohol.

For January deaths, police says it is because many people are returning from villages and sometimes children are going back to schools.

Mugisha said motorcyclists shall not be spared too. Riders carrying two passengers, those without helmets including motorcycles that are in bad mechanical state shall also be impounded.

Read Also: Security to arrest drivers with vehicles in dangerous mechanical condition

Police has said they will not be issuing express penalty tickets but whoever they would caught contravening traffic rules and regulations will be arraigned before court.

Police said not only police personnel dressed in traffic uniform will be on roads enforcing traffic laws but including other units of police provided the personnel are dressed in gazetted police attires.