Old traffic fines to move to new driving permits 

Tuesday March 02 2021
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People wait at the Uganda Railways Corporation headquarters in Kampala during the launch of the new company that will print the new driving permits on March 1, 2021. PHOTO | RACHEL MABALA

By Arthur Arnold Wadero

All drivers with penalties on the existing computerised driver’s licences will have them transferred to the new permits under the Uganda Driver Licensing System (UDLS), government has announced.

Speaking at the launch of UDLS, which will print the new driving permits at Uganda Railways Corporation headquarters in Kampala yesterday, the commissioner for Transport and Road Safety at the Ministry of Works, Mr Winstone Katushabe, reasoned that the move is purposed to instil strong discipline among motorists.

“We shall have to make sure that whatever wrong goes with the offender on the road, it is counted on your driving licence. Actually in the final stages, what we want to do now, if you have so many tickets of any nature even if it is Shs20,000, your driving licence will not be renewed,” Mr Katushabe said.

Under the newly introduced point demerit system, repeat offenders will either have licences cancelled or recalled.

“If say, you knock someone and he or she dies, we remove your licence and you may have to come back after five years. That is in addition to being arrested and persecuted. There will be a number of sanctions that will make you never to have appetite to cause accidents on the road,” Mr Katushabe said.

Once recalled or cancelled, a motorist with a higher class of licence will have to undergo a fresh application procedure to get another one.

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In the same breath, Mr Katusabe revealed that his ministry had asked police not to subject motorists to the Express Penalties Scheme (EPS).

“I have discussed with the director [traffic and road safety Lawrence] Nuwabiine; let’s manage this transition. EPS can be issued for another offence but for a driving licence, let’s first manage this transition,” he said.

Government insists that no cash payments will be accepted at the issuance centres and any staff caught receiving any money there will be dismissed.

The issuance of the driving licences will be handled by the Uganda Security Printing Company (USPC) that will work with Veridos, a German-based entity. Currently, USPC is charged with the printing of all government security documents such as passports and National Identity cards.

Previously, the computerised driving permits were issued by the South African-based company, Face Technologies headquartered at Kyambogo.

Old charges for the licences have been maintained and the money will be paid in the bank before one proceeds to the issuance entre. Mr Katushabe said the printing costs have remained the same.

“The cost of production remains the same. All these materials were using at the USPC centre are still being imported at a high cost. So you are not going to tell somebody in Spain that government is taking over [from private contractor], so we will be taking materials cheaply,” he told Daily Monitor.

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