Beginning this week, all drivers of passenger buses will be required to wear identification badges as traffic police seeks to return discipline on Ugandan roads.
A few years back, the Ministry of Works and Transport required that all taxi and passenger bus drivers were required to display the badges in their vehicles at all time.
However, the ministry later removed the badges.
According to the traffic police spokesperson, ASP Faridah Nampiima, they have reawakened the badges as one of the ways to help in reducing accidents on Ugandan roads.
“As police, we are reinstating the badges. We have given drivers one week starting last week, January, 6 for every bus driver to get a badge. No bus will be allowed to move without a badge for driver,” Nampiima said.
She explained that in every passenger bus, the driver must clearly display their photo, badge which has their name, permit number, class of the driving permit and the bus company to help police monitor the movement of buses.
Nampiima noted that badges are one of the initiatives to crack down on incompetent drivers since only qualified ones are issued with the badges.
“All companies are instructed to submit particulars of their drivers to the Ministry of Works and Transport for verification. No driver of a bus will be allowed on the road without a badge and if your badge is withdrawn, you will never be allowed to chauffer a bus in this country,”Nampiima warned.
She noted that badges will also help to avoid cases where drivers shift from one bus company to the others after causing accidents.
In a bid to tighten the noose around drivers, the traffic police spokesperson noted that they are resuming the crackdown on buses without route charts.
A route chart is a document which details the route a specific bus must play and the time it does it.
However, according to ASP Faridah Nampiima, some bus companies don’t have their own route charts and share from their colleagues in the same business.
She says that because of lack of route charts to be followed, many drivers ply routes that they are not supposed to be plying but also make more than the recommended trips which has been cited as one of the major causes of accidents by buses on Ugandan roads.
“Every company should have a route chat and if it is given, it shows when and where your bus is supposed to be in a particular place. Every bus should move within the specified time of the route chat. We don’t want to see scenarios where a bus arrives at a particular point before the time specified on the route chart since this shows that the driver is overspeeding,”Nampiima said.
The traffic police spokesperson says the development is one of the ways in which they want to tighten the noose around bus drivers in a bid to reduce road accidents, especially those caused by drivers.
She insists that if drivers follow the route charts, they will avoid return journeys which have proven to be the leading causes of accidents by buses as the drives rush to make as many trips as possible.