Police move to shame traffic offenders brews legal trouble

Spokesperson for the traffic directorate, ASP Faridah Nampiima. PHOTO | FILE

Police have vowed to name and shame traffic offenders every week, a plan a lawyer says is illegal.

Ms Faridah Nampiima, the traffic police spokesperson, said lists of traffic offenders will include the number plate, where one committed the traffic offence from, and the time one committed this offence.

Police say 146 cars were captured on camera between August 1 to 6, violating traffic rules.

Ms Nampiima said police will capture information using their speed gun digital system, which monitors speed and offences committed on all buildup, paved and gravel roads in Uganda.

She said: “They cover videos like your cameras, we shall play the video for you at what speed you are moving on the road and get a ticket of  Shs200,000, speed fines are instant payments, we shall not give you a ticket, you first pay before you proceed.”

However, Mr Eron Kiiza, a lawyer, told Daily Monitor yesterday that traffic police shaming traffic offenders is unnecessary.

“Police naming and tracking traffic jam offenders is great but shaming them is unnecessary. Shaming offenders is not one of the remedies provided by the law. The police should deal with traffic offenders in accordance with the law,” Mr Kiiza said.

He added: “Shaming people is incompatible with human dignity and the rights to privacy and due process. The point of law enforcement is to correct and reform offenders as opposed to shaming and embarrassing them.” 

The maximum speed limit of each car on a paved road is 100km/hr .

Ms Nampiima tasked road users to respect traffic lights and avoid reckless driving.  She revealed that between August 1 and 6, a total of 314 traffic crashes occurred and of these 55 were fatal, 149 serious and 110 were minor, and 276 people were involved in the accidents. Of these 60 people died and 216 sustained serious injuries and the highest contributors to these crashes are motorcyclists and PSV vehicles (taxis).

Ms Nampiima listed some of the causes of road crashes as speeding, failure to use signals (indicators), disobeying signs, drafting into another lane, instructed driving, using hand held phones while driving, failing to stop for pedestrians at crossing points and driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

During this period, a total number of 8,416 traffic offenders were arrested and issued with EPS tickets at different checkpoints.

Among them, 1,571 were held over reckless driving, 1,846 were driving vehicles under poor mechanical conditions, 843 with invalid driving licences, 556 driving without third party, 455 for speeding,  646 for not wearing seat belts, 176 for using hand held mobile phones while driving, 405 for riding motorcycles without wearing helmets and 88 for carrying more than one person on the motorcycles.

Ms Nampiima advised road users never to cross the road from behind a packed vehicle or at any other unsafe place. 

“Never drive when you are tired, if you feel tired, pack the car. Please there is no energy drink that can fight sleep,” she said.

Speed limits

Subaru. The speed limit in a built up area is 50km, on paved road is 100km and on a gravel (marram) road is 80km.

Vans, pick-up trucks which don’t carry more than 3,500kgs, the speed limit in a built-up is 50km/hr, paved road is 80km and gravel road is 60km. Trucks and other vehicles that weigh more than 3,500kgs, speed limit in built up areas is 50km, paved road is 60km and gravel road is 60km.  

Mini buses and taxis. The speed limit in built-up areas is 50km/hr, paved road is 80km/hr and gravel road is 60km/hr. 

Buses or coaches. Speed limit in a  built-up area is 50km/hr, paved roads are 80km/hr and gravel roads are 60km. 

Any vehicle trolling a trailer. Its speed limit in a built-up area is 50km, paved road is 80km. 

Tractors. Speed limit in a built-up area is 40km, paved roads are 40km and gravel roads is 40km/hr.