Uganda: Traffic Offences - That Whatsapp Message While Driving Could Land You Into Shs100,000 Fine

21 August 2022
Nile Post News (Kampala)

Distracted driving has led to loss of many lives in fatal accidents in not only in Uganda but also across the world.

With the advent of smartphones, destructed driving cases have gone up where many drivers are fond of texting while driving.

Police records indicate that at least five in 10 motorists use their phone while driving.

Whereas many think that the law only penalizes driving while speaking on the phone, according to Faridah Nampiima, the Traffic Police spokesperson, even talking on WhatsApp while driving could also land you into paying a shs100,000 fine.

"Those found using a hand held telephone while driving are liable to pay a shs100,000 fine. Even the Bluetooth and headsets are all part of the telephone and if found using them, you will be liable to pay the fine,"Nampiima says.

"If you need to communicate on WhatsApp, Twitter , facebook or any social media platform, do it while you have parked the vehicle. If you are found with that phone using it to do anything like WhatsApp, you are to pay the fine. If you use the phone to respond to a WhatsApp message and you are caught, the offence stands since you have used a hand held mobile for communication."

Once an express penalty scheme ticket is issued, it takes 28 days and if they elapse, it attracts a 50% surcharge whereas an offender has the right to challenge the ticket issued to them.

Other traffic offences and their penalties;

Driving a vehicle without a valid licence/ out of class or expired- shs100,000

Driving a vehicle without valid motor third party- shs40,000

Driving a vehicle with obscured/covered/ tilted/ not clear/ without a numberplate- shs40,000

Vehicle when number plates are obsecured/ covered/ tilted/ not clear/without number plate- 40,000

Allowing a person not enrolled as a student in a driving school to drive or ride a vehicle or motorcycle- shs100,000

Driving or loading a vehicle in a dangerous manner to other road users - shs200,000

Using a vehicle in breach of a licence it was issued- shs100,000

Driving a vehicle in a dangerous mechanical condition-shs60,000

Driving under the influence of alcohol- shs200,000

Careless driving- shs100,000

Driving past the prescribed speed- shs200,000

Failure to provide right of way to emergency vehicles- shs100,000

Failure to stop at railway level crossing/ parking on railway line- shs40,000

Carrying more than one person on motorcycle- shs100,000

Carrying more passengers than prescribed and likely to interfere with safe driving - shs100,000

Leaving car parked while obstructing the road/ parking in road- shs100,000

Riding motorcycle without permit- shs40,000

Riding on road without helmet- shs40,000

Passenger in a vehicle not wearing seat belt- shs20,000

Using vehicle without reflectors or warning signs- shs100,000

Using vehicle to instruct learners without a valid certificate of fitness- shs200,000

Police launches operation to recover shs8bn held in uncleared EPS tickets

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