The Inspector General of Police has noted with serious concern the degree at which motorists abuse the use of motor vehicle Sirens, Roof Lights and right of way with total disregard of traffic and road safety law and regulations.
In a statement released by Andrew Felix Kaweesi, the police spokesperson, Kayihura says the abuse has not only caused public outcry but has also led to heavy traffic jams and accidents on highway leading to Kampala Capital City especially Entebbe Road.
He said the practice is masterminded by both civilian and security officials who have illegally installed sirens, roof lights for their convenience reasons rather than responding to emergencies as it should be
Section 123 (3) of Traffic and Road Safety Act, 1998.
Defines what an emergency motor vehicle means ”a motor vehicle, trailer or engineering plant for the purpose of the Police, Ambulances, motor vehicles of armed forces and such other vehicles that may be designated by the Minister by a statutory order”.
Under this provision, in 2004, the Minister of Works and Transport designated the following categories of motor vehicles to have the same right as emergency motor vehicles under regulation 5(2) of Traffic and Road Safety Act (Rules of Road) Regulation , 2004.
“This regulation outlines the following category of government officials, whose motor vehicle have the right of way under emergency provision.”
They are: the vehicles(Convoy ) of H.E the President, the vehicles(convoy) of the Vice President, the vehicles of the Chief Justice and Deputy Chief Justice, the vehicles (Convoy)of the Speaker and Deputy Speaker of Parliament and the vehicles of Prime Minister.
Kayihura thus directed that the abuse is Criminal and should stop forthwith and any person who has been using sirens and roof light for the purposes of gating the right of way and does not fall under the above mentioned categories should seek authorisation from the Minister of Works and Transport in accordance with Section 123(5) of the Act.
“All private, government and security officials who have illegally installed sirens, roof/flash lights should immediately remove it.”
“The Traffic Police has been directed to form a squad that will monitor, Impound, arrest and prosecute drivers of such vehicles that abuse this Traffic regulation.”
He directed the Commandant VIPPU has been directed to formulate standard operating procedures and sensitize all drivers of Lead and Escort cars on rules and regulations that apply when escorting dignitaries.