The Police Directorate of Traffic and Road Safety has announced a crackdown on drivers of vehicles with illegal sirens, roof lights and led lights.
Of late, a number of vehicles on Ugandan roads have either been installed with sirens, led lights or roof lights and have been used to abuse the right of way.
Addressing journalists on Wednesday, deputy Police spokesperson, Polly Namaye said they are concerned that the vice is growing day by day and hence the need to crackdown on offenders.
“This indiscipline has a great potential of creating unnecessary inconveniences to road users as well as increasing the number of road crashes which endanger lives and property,”Namaye said.
“We appeal to all road users especially to all motorists to comply with all traffic regulations and desist from acts of indiscipline such as fixing sirens and emergency lights to their vehicles.”
Section 123 of Traffic and Road Safety Act, 1998, gives the right of way to emergency vehicles defined as “a motor vehicle, trailer or engineering plant for the purpose of the police, ambulances, motor vehicles of armed forces and such other vehicles that may be designated by the minister by a statutory order.
According to regulation 5(2) of Traffic and Road Safety Regulations, 2004, the right of way is given to only the convoys of the President, Vice President, Chief Justice and Deputy Chief Justice, Speaker of Parliament and Deputy Speaker and Prime Minister but there are also other vehicles authorized to have the right of way including ambulances carrying patients, police vehicles and fire brigade trucks rushing for emergencies.
Commissioner of Police, Bazir Mugisha, who is the acting Police director in charge of Traffic and Road Safety many motorists have assumed ‘the right of way’ yet they are not entitled to it, noting they will not be spared.
“There are people who think they are in more hurry than others and end up bending the law. We shall arrest you and this directive starts with immediate effect,”Mugisha said.
He said offenders will be arrested and prosecuted in courts of law, whereas their vehicles will be impounded.
This is not the first time police has announced a crackdown on vehicles with illegal sirens, roof lights and led lights.
In 2016, the then Inspector General of Police, Gen. Kale Kayihura announced a similar crackdown but it only lasted a few weeks.
Ugandan roads especially during the rush hour experience the worst form of impunity from motorists with sirens, roof lights and led lights who force other users off the roads in a bid to beat the jam.
A number of private citizens , those working in government or those close to them have of late been using blaring sirens and led lights to assume a non- existent right of way and on many occasions they have caused accidents.