The Observer (Kampala)

13 November 2012

Uganda: Police Recognizes Only Five Driving Schools

About 30 people have been admitted to Mbarara hospital following an accident that left four people dead. The accident occurred after a double cabin ... ( Resource: Uganda: Mbarara Hospital overwhelmed with Injured victims

Police have released a list of five driving schools recognized and certified to train and test drivers that can qualify for permits.

The police says that, from now on, only graduates of these schools will be allowed to drive passenger service vehicles. The five schools are: Uganda Driving Standard Agency (UDSA), International Driving Agency (IDA), Automobile Association of Uganda (AAU), Prestige Driving School, and Dembe Driving School.

According to the head of traffic Police, Dr Steven Kasiima, these are the only schools that meet the standards.

"The rest have no required standards such as qualified instructors, qualified training vehicles and enough land for training," Kasiima said.

The development comes after the ministry of Works and Transport launched the new Traffic and Road Safety regulations 2012, in a bid to reduce road accidents in the country. With this law, Police will not allow any driver on the road not tested and trained by these five licensed driving schools.

Consequently the police will soon start testing all drivers, starting with commuter taxis, buses, boda boda cyclists and special hires, aimed at reducing the rampant road accidents resulting from reckless driving. Those who pass the test, especially Public Service Vehicle (PSV) drivers will get badges for easy identification. The badges bear Police contacts in case one has to report bad driving.

The new traffic regulation will also stop drivers who have already caused accidents and killed people from getting a driving permit. Drivers and motorcyclists below 25 years of age will also not be allowed on the roads.

"Most accidents can be prevented when people cooperate with the police," Kasiima said as he launched the week-long accident-free festive season campaign in Kampala.

The officer in charge of traffic Kampala Metropolitan Region Lawrence Nuwabiine appealed to passengers not to interfere with Police while arresting bad drivers since more officers would be deployed during the festive season to reduce fatalities and speeding.

"Some passengers at times attack police officers when arresting bad drivers. We shall not allow this. Police will arrest anybody who threatens with their work," Nuwabiine said.

The police also released an interim traffic accident report with statistics collected from January to June this year. The report shows that 1,501 people died in accidents and 7,872 were injured. Most of the deaths were among the youth. Total accidents reached 10,261 compared to 10,042 for the same period the previous year.

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