Entebbe Expressway: Where Speed Demons Find Sanctuary and Logic Goes to Die
Law enforcement officials have taken into custody a total of 281 drivers who were found to be in violation of the designated speed limit on the Entebbe Expressway. Authorities have noted a significant number of instances where drivers have exceeded the stipulated speed limit of 100km/hr on the expressway, leading to heightened concerns due to the associated safety risks.
Micheal Kananura, the spokesperson for the Traffic Police, disclosed that measures have been implemented to address this issue. In an effort to curb these infractions, the use of closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras has been employed to monitor driver conduct, as logistical constraints have hindered the deployment of physical personnel. The apprehended drivers, as highlighted by law enforcement, were identified as habitual offenders.
During a joint press briefing involving the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) and the Ministry of Health, Kananura provided insights into the newly launched Fika Salama Extra initiative targeting problematic driving behaviors. The primary focus of this campaign is to tackle instances of drunk driving, predominantly within the Kampala Metropolitan areas and along highways.
The Fika Salama Extra operations will involve sporadic checkpoints, with CCTV surveillance being a supplementary tool to observe and record driver actions, which have been identified as a leading contributor to road accidents.
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Kananura explained, “Traffic Police will implement unannounced checkpoints, particularly in dimly lit areas of major highways, based on intelligence reports. Additionally, we will employ CCTV cameras to monitor and document violations. This data will then be relayed to personnel stationed at the Fika Salama Extra Check Points.”
Dr. Hasifa Lukwata, representing the Ministry of Health, conveyed the safety and hygiene aspects of alcohol testing procedures. Highlighting that breathalyzers are now considered safe and incapable of transmitting COVID-19, Lukwata addressed the previous suspension of alcohol testing as a preventive measure during the pandemic.
Lukwata underscored the impact of alcohol consumption on driving, emphasizing that any quantity of alcohol can lead to adverse effects on the body. She elaborated that alcohol consumption, regardless of the quantity, can impair a driver’s vision and overall capabilities.
In accordance with legal procedures, habitual offenders will be subject to legal proceedings. Notably, law enforcement authorities have issued a stern warning to drivers of Public Service Vehicle (PSV) Motor Vehicles, cautioning that violations of traffic regulations will result in legal consequences. Kananura asserted, “Drivers who do not adhere to the regulations during checkpoints will face penalties, including being blacklisted, tracked, and potential vehicle impoundment.”
Records from the Traffic Police from the preceding year have indicated that incidents of drunk driving played a role in numerous traffic accidents. This concern is not unique to Uganda, as globally, instances of impaired driving have contributed to road accidents, as highlighted in the World Health Organization’s (WHO) 2018 report.
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