Parliament Calls for Action Against Reckless Driving and Illegal Sirens

The Speaker of Parliament, Anita Among, has urged law enforcement agencies to apprehend reckless drivers following an incident in Kagadi district, where a 25-year-old Magezi Tuhaise lost his life after being struck by a government vehicle. Presiding over the plenary session, Among condemned the incident, which occurred during a peaceful demonstration by district residents protesting against the poor condition of roads on Tuesday, February 27, 2024.

 “The driver of the LCV vehicle displayed blatant disregard for the safety of these individuals. Such flagrant disregard for the law cannot be tolerated in our nation,” remarked Among on Wednesday, February 28, 2024.

 Video footage of the accident has circulated widely on social media platforms. Hon. Janepher Mbabazi (NRM, Kagadi District) disclosed that the driver of the vehicle has been apprehended, with police launching investigations into the matter. Mbabazi also urged the Ministry of Works and Transport, as well as the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA), to expedite the roadworks for which the demonstration was staged.

 “The state of this road has long been a concern in Kagadi. Stretching 42 kilometers and traversing multiple sub-counties in the district, it has received minimal attention. Following this tragic incident, UNRA has dispatched equipment to commence road repairs today,” Mbabazi stated.

State Minister for Works and Transport, Hon. Musa Ecweru, announced that the Ministry would issue a statement on the nation’s road conditions after holding a coordination meeting with the Prime Minister and the Finance Minister.

“Despite significant efforts by Parliament to allocate funds for road maintenance, funds have not been forthcoming for this purpose. Therefore, it’s imperative that we convene with the Prime Minister for coordination before I deliver a presentation aimed at providing hope to our colleagues,” explained Ecweru.

Lawmakers also emphasized the need for stringent measures against vehicles equipped with unauthorized sirens. Hon. Dan Atwijukire (NRM, Kazo County) recounted an encounter with a reckless driver, which went unaddressed despite his report to the authorities.

“Every time you hit the road, you encounter individuals asserting their right of way aggressively. A government double-cabin vehicle belonging to the Ministry of Science and Technology collided with my car, yet no action has been taken by the Police,” lamented Atwijukire.

 Hon. Asuman Basalirwa (JEEMA, Bugiri Municipality) highlighted recent Police directives and arrests of owners of vehicles with unauthorized sirens.

“The root issue is not ignorance about the illegality of such sirens but rather a culture of impunity. Unless we tackle impunity head-on, mere guidelines will have no impact,” asserted Basalirwa. Hon. Fredrick Angura (NRM, Tororo South County) advocated for strict enforcement of traffic fines against errant road users, which he believes will bolster the nation’s non-tax revenue. Minister Ecweru pledged to provide a report on the categories of individuals entitled to right of way in the country.