The Uganda Police Force has launched an electronic Express Penalty System (EPS) that will help crack down on errant drivers.
Speaking at the launch of the system on Monday, Traffic Police Director, AIGP Steven Kasiima said in the past they faced a number of challenges including illiteracy levels of traffic police officers whereas many drivers defaulted on payments.
“There were challenges in reconciling the records with Uganda Revenue Authority whereas some offenders didn’t want to pay the tickets given to them,” AIGP Kasiima said.
“You find a taxi driver with tickets worth five million shillings not yet paid and this has always brought us problems from the Auditor General’s reports.”
Kasiima revealed that currently, there are tickets worth Shs48 billion that have not been paid between 2007 and 2016.
According to the Traffic Police Director, the new system will help them issue tickets electronically and will also help track offenders who have not paid in time.
“With the electronic system, the driving permit details including the number will be captured and vehicle number plate captured in the system. If a ticket is issued, the details will be captured in the system and we can be able to track defaulters later using the electronic system,”Kasiima said.
How the electronic Express Penalty System works
According to Steven Sande, the Kampala South Metropolitan Regional Traffic Officer, a total of 1400 traffic officers who have been trained have been handed with specialized phones and an electronic printer.
“They will use phones instead of a receipt book and a portable printer. The phone will have five functionalities including issuing of the ticket, track defaulters and check for payment status among others,”Sande said.
He explained that through the use of a Bluetooth, a traffic officer would be able to print and hand a receipt to an offender before they can pay for the same in the bank.
The electronic system that captures the driving permit and number plates will now be used by traffic officers to track vehicles and drivers who have defaulted on payment of tickets issued to them.
“We can use ticket number to track the permit to see how many tickets are pending for a driver. We can also check payment status to know if a driver has paid or not paid the tickets issued to them.
According to the Kampala South Metropolitan Regional Traffic Officer, using the ticket number, traffic police officers can crosscheck to find out if a ticket has been cleared or not.
The electronic system will now phase out the use of receipt books by traffic police officers as part of the Express Penalty Scheme.
The system will also be integrated with Face Technologies and Uganda Revenue Authority to ensure they are at par.
The Deputy Inspector General of Police, Maj.Gen.Muzeeyi Sabiiti said the electronic system will encourage transparency as well as ensuring government revenue is collected.
Punishments were put in place to deter motorists from making offences but this has not been achieved with the manual system. This new system will help achieve it. We shall be able to eliminate habitual offenders,”Sabiiti said.
“We shall now be able to reduce road carnage with the new system that will make it mandatory for offenders to pay for tickets.”
According to Winston Katushabe, the Commissioner in charge of transport and safety regulation in Ministry of Works, they will make it mandatory that before anyone renews their permit, they must have paid all tickets given to them.
“Police will deploy its officers at Face Technologies that any driver has pending tickets will not have his driving permit renewed until he had paid,” he noted.