Motorists oppose 30km/h speed limit

Traffic police officers test new speed guns in Kampala on April 26, 2022. PHOTO/STEPHEN OTAGE

What you need to know:

  • The Ministry of Works and Transport on Tuesday announced they are introducing a new traffic regulation lowering the speed limit for driving in urban areas from 50kms per hour to 30km per hour.

A section of motorists in Kampala City have opposed the proposed regulation on lowering the speed limit for driving in urban areas, saying the government is not in touch with reality.

The Ministry of Works and Transport on Tuesday announced they are introducing a new traffic regulation lowering the speed limit for driving in urban areas from 50kms per hour to 30km per hour.

The motorists instead advised the government to improve the country’s urban road network and to conduct a comprehensive study into what they called a ‘bogus’ regulation before it’s endorsed.

They said already with the heavy traffic congestion in the city, vehicles cannot drive at more than 30km per hour due to poor road designs and lack of signage to guide motorists on the different blackspots, which are some of the major causes of accidents and traffic jam in the city.

“With the nature of Ugandan roads, the proposed regulation will not work because already, we do not have roads within urban centers that show speed limits,” Mr Enos Tufekushaba, a driver with the Judiciary, said.

Ms Beatrice Turyasingura, a retired head teacher, observed that before the policy is implemented, there is need for a comprehensive study to be conducted to find out the cause of accidents.

“During week days, traffic jam within the city centre and its outskirts is already controlling the speed limit. It is during the night, public holidays and weekends that accidents are rampant because of driving under the influence of alcohol,” she said.

The new regulation is in consonance with government’s commitment to implement the UN General Assembly Resolution A/RES/74/299, which proclaimed the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2021-2030.

Government believes this will reduce accidents within the urban areas.

But Ms Margaret Rwabushaija, the Workers Member of Parliament,  said besides the weekends, accidents tend to increase during the festive seasons and public holidays and most of them occur on dual carriage roads rather than on single lanes.

Mr Salim Uhuru, the mayor for Kampala Central Division, noted that the reduced speed limit will become a money making scheme for the police because traffic is too slow in the city.

What they say

Sudhir Byaruhanga, journalist

“... How many road signs do we have in this country? Let us begin with the signage before talking of speed limits. When we have traffic jam in the city and this becomes law, it means we should be ready to have traffic jams stretching up to Mukono. ..”

Beatrice Turyasingura, retired teacher

“...  When did they do research and found out that the problem is with the speed limit? Why do we have more accidents during weekends when people drive under the influence of alcohol? ”

Salim Uhuru, Mayor Kampala Central

“It is advantageous and it has negative sides because it will further slow down traffic and this will be an opportunity for police to extort money from motorists who are not adhering to the law.”

Enos Tufekushaba, driver

“This will not work because we need more of road signs than the speed limits. We do not have roads where we can drive at 30kmph within the city it could be even less than 20kmph.”

Ruth Asiimwe, businesswoman

 “I do not know how to drive but with traffic jam already bad,  I guess it can only get worse because the roads are too narrow ...”

Rebecca Katate, social worker

 “It is something which should be thought through before implementation; otherwise it will defeat the purpose for which it was intended.”

Annet Mwesigwa

“It is a good idea so that we can reduce on accidents; we have many schools in the city centre where children study during the day and most of the accident victims are usually children...”

Brian Byamukama, driver

“ It depends on the town where you are driving from but within Kampala, you cannot drive at 30kmph because of the congestion ...”