20 November 2012

Uganda: Public Drivers to Be Tested Every Year

The Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga wants the police to implore bodaboda cyclists to wear helmets. ( Resource: Uganda Govt Implores Police on Road Carnage

Drivers of passenger service and goods vehicles will be tested every year to assess their abilities to drive, starting next year. This measure is aimed at curbing the spike in road accidents across the country.

Works and transport minister Abraham Byandala said drivers of the two categories shall do refresher courses at least once a year. He said the drivers will be trained in driving schools or a driver-training institution licensed to carry out such specialised training.

They will also be issued with a certificate of completion of training in the refresher course by the secretariat of the Transport Licensing Board. "Minus that certificate, no one will drive passenger or goods vehicles with a carrying capacity of more than three-and-a-half tonnes. This is a compulsory test," he said.

Byandala was addressing journalists on the annual National Road Safety Week, also a UN remembrance day of road accident victims. The week runs from November 18 to November 24 under the theme; "Uganda at 50 with Safer Road Users."

Under the new statutory instrument 2012 No. 40, section 19, any person (driver) who was licensed before the new regulations is expected to comply. PSV drivers are also expected to undergo medical examination, annually, to confirm whether they are still medically fit to drive a PSV vehicle.

The examinations will be carried out by a registered medical practitioner. "The certified PSV drivers will get badges for easy identification," he noted. The driver's badge can be revoked if a person fails to comply with provisions of the regulations.

Police chief Lt Gen. Kale Kayihura said there is need to establish a task force on road safety. He said in the recent Police Bi-Annual Traffic Accident Report 2012, from January to June; 10,261 road traffic accidents were reported, with 1, 501 fatalities.

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