Fika Salama campaign is back ahead of Christmas

Traffic police spokesperson ASP Faridah Nampiima addresses journalists at the police headquarters in Naguru, Kampala on December 19, 2022. PHOTO/FRANK BAGUMA

What you need to know:

  • The police say the festive season is characterised by increased movement of goods and persons from one area to another.

The police force has reinstated the Fika Salama campaign to check  errant drivers ahead of the festive season.

The force has warned motorists against overspeeding and other traffic violations that may lead to road carnage.

The spokesperson of the Directorate of Traffic and Road Safety, ASP Faridah Nampiima, made the revelations while addressing the weekly police briefing in Kampala yesterday.

“You have realised that road carnage is increasing. The Fika Salama checkpoints are back on the road and we have strengthened the operations, so expect to be stopped at a checkpoint anytime,” Ms Nampiima said.

Fika Salama is a Swahili phrase meaning reach safely.

The operation was pioneered in 2016 by Uganda National Roads Authority (Unra) with support from the police force and other stakeholders to curb drink-driving, among other traffic offenses.

ASP Nampiima justified the reintroduction of exercise saying the festive season is characterised by increased movement of goods and persons from one area to another.

“So far, the traffic police are on the road and doing their best to enforce the law so that you reach different destinations safely,” she said.

Ms Nampiima added that from December 1 to December 19, they arrested 21,656 traffic violators across the country and they were issued Express Penalty Service (EPS) tickets.

“Out of these, 1,116 people were arrested for overspeeding, reckless driving [3,374], driving cars in dangerous mechanical condition [4,563], those arrested for not wearing seat belts [1,178], driving on the road with invalid licences [1,759], and those driving vehicles without third party [1,758],” Ms Nampiima said.

Some of the measures that the police said they would put in place to minimise road accidents include establishing more barriers at identified black spots, checking speed limits, and increasing motorised patrols.

“We are going to ensure that only qualified drivers are on the road. If you know you have never attained a driving licence, don’t drive on the road,” she warned.

“If your tyres are worn out, get new ones. If your windscreen is broken, replace it. If your wipers are not working, repair them before you hit the road,” ASP Nampiima added.