Police yesterday requested Parliament to empower them to regulate the tinting of car windows and windscreens, arguing that such vehicles are commonly used in criminal activities.
The police director of traffic, Dr Steven Kasiima, made the request to Parliament's Committee on Physical Infrastructure yesterday. Dr Kasiima also sought to regulate boda boda business, taxis and buses through formation of Saccos for easy tracking.
The police further raised concern over garages and businesses dealing in car and motorcycle spare parts, saying some of their proprietors have specialised in stealing vehicles and motorcycles, dismantling them and selling their spare parts.
These activities, Dr Kasiima added, need to be licenced so that government can also get revenue through taxes.
He said in Kampala alone, there are between 500,000 and one million boda boda motorcycle taxi riders, a situation that calls for police to regulate the industry under the Traffic and Roads Safety Act, 1998 (Ammendment) Bill, 2019.
The traffic police boss revealed that last year, they impounded 150,000 motorcycles whose riders were found carrying excess passengers, had no helmets or riding without valid driving permits.
"Politicians should assist us. Unfortunately they are the ones opposed to regulation. If we are to bring sanity in this industry, it has to be regulated so that we remove criminals who have infiltrated it," Dr Kasiima said.
He added: "Some of them are not genuine boda boda riders. They are killing us. They trail us. That is why we are putting tints on our vehicles. [In] many of these high profile murders, they [suspects] have used motorcycles to escape."
However, Katikamu North MP Abraham Byandala opposed the idea of stopping the tinting of cars.
"We need to go slow on the issue of tinted cars because some people are trailing us," he said.
But Dr Kasiima explained that once the transport business is organised under Saccos, they will be able to regulate their activities.
The committee vice chairperson, Mr George Wilson Kumama Nsamba [Baale County] asked police to submit more amendments that they think will improve their service delivery.