Boda riders decry high permit costs as police crackdown bites
What you need to know:
- A motorcycle driving permit costs Shs135,000 while training at a recognised driving school costs Shs60,000.
- A PSV licence is acquired at Shs60,000 and third party insurance at Shs50,000
Boda boda riders have asked government to reduce the cost of driving permits, PSV licence and third party insurance, saying they can’t afford them.
The chairperson of boda boda riders in Makindye Division, Kampala City, Mr Umar Isabirye, said failure to revise the costs of the requirements has seen a number of riders fall victim to the ongoing police crackdown, which started on Monday.
“All riders would like to have driving permits, PSV and third party on their motorcycles but the cost of these items is not affordable to most riders. It would have been better if the crackdown had started targeting only those without reflector jackets and helmets because driving permits are expensive and are not processed in just a day,” Mr Isabirye said yesterday.
He added: “Currently, the cost of a driving permit is Shs135,000 while training costs Shs60,000, which is not affordable to most of the riders given that many are servicing motorcycle loans on top of fulfilling their personal obligations.”
Since Monday, police have been seen on major roads across the country impounding motorcycles whose riders do not have requirements such as reflector jackets, helmets and driving permits. Others that were not spared include those carrying more than one passenger and those with motorcycles in bad mechanical condition.
The crackdown follows police reports that boda bodas are one of the major causes of accidents in the country, with at least four people dying due to motorcycle-related accidents every day.
Traffic Police spokesperson Faridah Nampiima, said today, they will update the nation about the ongoing crackdown.
“Police will be updating the public tomorrow [today] on the arrests and impounded motorcycles for the two days of the crackdown. This will be after compiling all the data from the enforcers at different stations across the country,” she added.
Mr Kevin Kazibwe, a victim of the crackdown, said it was at short notice yet the requirements are costly.
“The crackdown was announced less than a week ago, I managed to get a reflector jacket, insurance and PSV, and I hoped to collect the money to process the driving permit within this week. Now my motorcycle is taken, I don’t have any other source of income and police will also ask for money to have the motorcycle back,” Mr Kazibwe, who operates on Namirembe Road in Kampala City, said.
In an earlier interview with this publication, the minister of Works and Transport, Gen Katumba Wamala, said reducing the cost of the driving permit would affect its quality and cause losses to the government.
This publication has learnt that a motorcycle driving permit costs Shs135,000 while training at a recognised driving school costs Shs60,000. A PSV licence is acquired at Shs60,000 and third party insurance at Shs50,000. Helmets cost between Shs25,000 and Shs80,000. This means a rider needs at least Shs350,000 to acquire the minimum requirements.