Kampala, Uganda | URN | Drivers along the Jinja-Iganga highway want police authorities to reinstate the recently de-gazetted white traffic uniforms which they say were more visible to the road users compared to the khaki type.
Mid last month, the chairman of the police uniform committee, Asan Kasingye unveiled a newly gazetted traffic police uniform which was khaki in color, but comprised of white caps and white belts as a means of differentiating them from the general duty police officers uniforms.
The drivers complaints arise after one of the traffic police officers identified as CPL Joseph Watuwa was critically injured after being knocked as he was inspecting vehicles in Wairaka U-turn along the Jinja-Iganga highway on Thursday evening.
About eight traffic police officers who spoke on condition of anonymity told this publication that they have been involved in minor accidents, however, drivers blame it on poor visibility of officers along the highways.
Drivers argue that the eastern corridor highway has several sharp corners and the current uniforms make the traffic officers barely visible to speeding vehicles, which may result into the rise of road accidents injuring both the standby traffic officers and other road users alike.
David Budhugo, a driver along the Jinja-Iganga-Busia highway says that traffic officers are always deployed along the blackspots up to around 7:30 pm, but with dull colored uniforms, it is hard for drivers to notice them in darkness.
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Esther Birungi, another special hire taxi driver along the Jinja-Iganga highway says that for the past two weeks, she is often fatigued after plying several routes, and in most cases fails to notice the signals made by the traffic officers who according to her are entirely obscured by environmental surroundings along the highways.
Haruna Musasizi, another driver says that police authorities should provide their officers with bright-colored uniforms which are easily noticed by all road users, adding that in so doing, traffic offenders can be easily reprimanded without any excuse.
On his part, the Kiira regional police spokesperson Abbey Ngako says that they plan to distribute reflector jackets to all their traffic officers with the aim of making them more visible while inspecting vehicles on the road.