The drivers whose trucks are found exceeding the accepted axle load are fined between 3 to 500 million shillings. They argue that the fines are too heavy and the legal framework that sets these fines should be scrapped.
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Truck drivers are protesting heavy fines for the Axle load
at Weigh-bridges in Uganda.
Uganda and other East African Community member states set the axle load limit
to 30 tons for commercial vehicles plying the regional road network. The
drivers whose trucks are found exceeding the accepted axle load are fined
between 3 to 500 million shillings.
The drivers argue that the fines are too
heavy and the legal framework that sets these fines should be scrapped.
Godfrey Wasswa, a driver at Maina Transport company complains of exploitation at weigh bridge control of Mbarara through the axle
load fines. He says the trailer truck is limited to load 30 tons of cargo in
Kampala and is weighed before travel, but upon reaching Mbarara the weighing
bridge raises the cargo weight 3 to 5 tons, thereby attracting a fine.
//Cue in “Okutambula kukubo nga…”
Cue out “…yembera eyo eriwo.”
Abdul Karim Byantalo, a truck driver, transporting cement
from Tororo to Mbarara, said he was cleared at Busitema weigh-bridge but was
shocked when his truck was impounded at the Mbarara weigh-bridge.
He suggests that the road weigh bridges should be synchronized since it is the same government that inspects them.
Byantalo says the road side bridges are 20 feet and weigh one axle at a time
instead of the whole front trailer alone and hind container separately.
//Cue in “Tugenda yonna lumu…”
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In 2015 Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) increased the
number of road weigh bridges from 3 to 12 to increase the number of cargo
trucks weighed in Uganda. In 2017 two regulations were introduced - the Community
Vehicle Control Act and Vehicles dimensions and load control regulation.
But Ramathan Gulooba, a driver from Uganda, transporting rice from Mombasa,
Kenya to Rwanda, said his vehicle was not weighed but was surprised to be held
for three days."UNRA officials need to sensitize us on laws regarding
road safety instead of arresting us unaware of the offence," he says. "Even when
your truck is weighed and it conforms to the tonnage, the officials solicit for
\\ Cue in “the officials want…”
Cue out “…let you go.” //
Allan Sempebwa Kyobe, UNRA's Manager Public Relations for Public and
Corporate Affairs says The new regulations deter errant users through fines and
imprisonment in case they are found guilty of offenses related to poor road use
which, among others, include overloading and abandoning vehicles on the road for
more than six hours. He says UNRA is constructing wider and longer weigh bridges
to weigh vehicles faster and more accurately.