Motorists to drive at 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:

  • Although the ministry wants to introduce a lower speed limit, the traffic police will continue enforcing the old limits until the laws are amended

The Ministry of Works and Transport says they are introducing a new traffic regulation lowering the speed limit for driving in urban areas from 50km per hour to 30km per hour.
According to Ms Susan Kataike, the ministry spokesperson, the new law is 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.
“The minister received the mantle for the Decade of Action For Road Safety last year, which is a campaign requesting governments all over the world to reduce speed limits in built up places,  and Uganda is party to this protocol,” she said yesterday.
Asked when the law will be enforced, Ms Kataike said the ministry needs to first review the Road Act, which was amended in 2019.
Although the ministry wants to introduce a lower speed limit, the traffic police will continue enforcing the old limits until the laws are amended.
Yesterday, Mr Rogers Nsereko, the police traffic commander for Kampala Metropolitan area, informed this newspaper that for the last seven months, they have been training their staff how to use their newly acquired speed guns that will check the speed limit.
He added that they have been carrying out operations mainly on Entebbe Expressway, Masaka, Bombo and Hoima roads, where they have been issuing express penalty tickets to motorists abusing the speed limit rules.
“We issue express tickets of Shs200,000 for those who violate the 80km per hour speed limit for highways and 50km per hour for all built up areas,” he said.
Yesterday, a number of traffic officers concluded a two-day training for using the new equipment at the Golf Course Hotel in Kampala. 

Police training
According to Mr Robert Susant, a senior road policing officer at the International Federation of the Road Cross, the training was delivered in partnership with the Bloomberg Philanthropies Initiative for Global Road Safety.
“We are training officers to create a system to enforce speed enforcement in Kampala. This is how we produce evidence, which is presented in court, not for them to collect more tickets but for motorists to know that there are people watching, and people in Kampala deserve safe roads,” he said.

It is common to see motorists speed through heavily populated trading centres, while other drivers, especially senior government officials, openly abuse traffic regulations. 
Ms Kataike said the 30km/h speed limit will be enforceable in places with big populations such as schools, hospitals, markets, trading and commercial centres. Mr Caleb Sam Katwebaze, the Bloomberg Philanthropies Initiative for Global Road Safety enforcement coordinator for Kampala, added that even the speed of 50km per hour is too high for some places on highways, which are also built up.

“Anyway, this is a campaign; we are giving the minister proposals, which he will have to forward to Parliament for debate. Maybe they will reduce it to 40km per hour but at 50km per hour, we feel this is still too high because people are still being knocked down,” he said.
Asked whether Entebbe Expressway will not be affected since it is also constructed along a built up area, he said it is an emergency road toll road, which does not have intersections joining it apart from at Kajjansi.