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June 13, 2024
Kampala Daily
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Ugandans pay sh42 billion in traffic offence penalties

The Traffic Police Directorate collected sh41 billion in penalties in 2023 according to a crime report released this week by Senior Commissioner of Police –SCP Lawrence Niwabiine the acting director.

Nuwabiine’s report shows that 528, 027 tickets were issued to drivers and motorcyclists for driving vehicles in dangerous mechanical conditions, careless driving, riding without crash helmets, driving without a valid driving permit and obstruction on a road by loading or offloading.

“Among the leading offences, driving a motor vehicle in a dangerous mechanical condition had the highest number of offenders with 99,068, followed by obstruction on road by loading or offloading with 95,667 offenders while driving without a valid driver’s permit had 77,430,” Niwabiine said.

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The issued out tickets were worth 41.4 billion shillings but 421.3 million shillings were never paid by the traffic offenders. However, road safety experts have given divergent opinions on the huge amount of money collected from traffic offenders.

Susan Tumuhairwe, the programs coordinator at Safe Way Right Way (SWRW), believes that the penalties can enable drivers and riders to become responsible and careful road users.

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“Penalties are part of enforcement which is one of the 3 Es [engineering, education and enforcement] of road safety. Penalties, if well executed can be a deterrent measure,” Tumuhairwe said.

Fredrick Kiapi, the project manager of Hope for Victims of Traffic Accidents (HOVITA) argues that traffic penalties have very little to contribute to road safety.

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“All the penalty money goes to the consolidated fund so it is up to the Ministry of Finance, planning, and Economic Development to budget its use. Little is invested in road safety,” Kiapi said.

Most traffic offences were committed in November whereby 53,684 cases were recorded leading to a collection of 3.77 billion shillings. December which is known month for having festivities connected to Christmas and New Year’s Day had the lowest number of traffic offences with only 25,921 tickets issued and a collection of only 1.388 billion shillings.

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Police attribute the low traffic offences recorded in December to heightened operations against offenders and drivers tend to be very careful and also try as much as possible to repair their vehicles. Niwabiine said most crashes occur between 6p and 8 pm.

Source: URN

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