Uganda Inspector General of Police (IGP) General Kale Kayihura issued a directive to the traffic department to impound vehicles with illegal sirens and roof lights and also arrest, prosecute their drivers for abuse of right of way.
The directive read to journalists by spokesperson Andrew Felix Kaweesi in the capital Kampala over the weekend says Kayihura has noted with “serious concern” the degree at which motorists abuse the use of motor vehicle sirens and roof lights.
Quoting the 2004 right of way and emergency designation by Uganda Works and Transport Ministry in accordance with regulation 5 (2) of Road Safety Act of Uganda, Kayihura said only the President, Vice President, Chief Justice and Deputy Chief Justice, Speaker of Parliament and Deputy Speaker and Prime Minister are persons who automatically qualify for right of way.
Other kinds of vehicles authorized to have the right of way, include ambulances carrying patients, police vehicles and fire brigade trucks rushing for emergencies the police boss said.
“All private, government and security officials who have illegally installed sirens and roof lights should immediately remove them. I have directed traffic police to form a squad that will monitor vehicles that abuse these traffic regulations,” he said.
Section 123 (3) of the Uganda Road Safety Act 1998 defines an emergency motor vehicle means as a motor vehicle, trailer or an engineering plant for the purposes of the police ambulances, motor vehicles of armed forces and such other vehicles that may be designated by the minister by statutory order.
“Abuse of right of way is criminal and should be stopped forthwith. Any person who has been using sirens and roof light for purposes of getting right of way and does not follow under the above category should seek authorization from the works and transport ministry,” Kayihura said.
Kaweesi added that the abuse has not only led to public outcry but has also led to heavy traffic jams and accidents on highways leading to Kampala City.
“Imagine even funeral cars have installed sirens and roof lights. What emergency is in the dead body?” Kaweesi asked.
He also threatened to punish police drivers who are hired to lead convoys of civilians heading to catch flights at Entebbe Airport and weddings,
“That is very wrong and illegal. A police driver who will be found doing that will be punished.” he said.
Source: Daily Monitor