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Motorists Flout Traffic Rules As Presence of Traffic Officers Thins :: Uganda Radionetwork
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Motorists Flout Traffic Rules As Presence of Traffic Officers Thins

The sight of overloaded vehicles, vehicles in Dangerous Mechanical Condition and speeding drivers is becoming all too common as people rush home for Christmas.

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Despite the strict traffic guidelines issued by police to prevent accidents during this festival season, drivers in Rwenzori region are yet to comply. There is a small presence of traffic officers on the roads unlike other days. This has paved way for drivers to flout traffic regulations. The sight of overloaded vehicles, vehicles in Dangerous Mechanical Condition and speeding drivers has been common over the past few days.

 

On the busy Fort-Portal- Kampala, Fort-Portal- Kasese, Fort-Portal- Kamwenge and Fort –Portal- Bundibugyo roads, some of the commuter taxis and special hire vehicles have worn out tyres, broken lights and no side mirrors. On the Fort-Portal- Kyejonjo road, where there are several black spots, our reporter saw only two traffic police officers on Tuesday giving drivers room to break the regulations. On the Fort-Portal-Kasese road at Burungu, where accidents are common, there was no traffic officer.

 

At Mpanga stage, commuter taxis that are supposed to carry 14 passengers were carrying 21 passengers on Tuesday, while the small Toyota Corona vehicles that are supposed to carry four passengers were loading five extra passengers. David Isingoma, a driver says that while he is aware of the required number of passengers his vehicle can carry, he still needs to make extra money for the festive season from passengers who are eager to travel home. Isingoma also said that he is surprised that unlike in the past there hasn’t been heavy deployment this festive season.

 

The lack of adequate traffic officers has angered some of the passengers who want more police officers deployed on the roads to crack the whip on traffic offenders. Peter Rabwoni, a passenger says this is the time when the traffic officers should be many and on the alert to avert possible accidents.  Rabwoni suspects that the owners of the DMCs could be bribing the few traffic officers on the road, so that they are left free.

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Joseph Mugume, a traffic officer attached to the Rwenzori region traffic police department admits the inadequate number of traffic officers on the roads due to understaffing. Mugume says that he has written to the district police commanders in the region, requesting for additional policemen who will be deployed on the roads.

He however says that there is a presence of more traffic police officers on the buses to ensure that the drivers adhere to the route chart, buses don’t make return journeys and buses don’t change drivers on the way, which he is common among bus drivers. 

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