Driving in Uganda is like a life threat to many people. This because of the many reckless drivers on the roads. Not forgetting the Matatu drivers as well as the motorcyclists (bodabodas) who think they are never in wrong. Some even think they have a right of way as they over take other drivers every chance they get.
Uganda roads consist of all kinds of cars and drivers, big and heavy trucks to small cars. As well as motorcyclists, and pedestrians.
All drivers have to go through driving school and later acquire a driver’s licence after 3 months at the school. However, most people have resorted to fake licenses so as to drive. Driving without a valid license is illegal.
A number of rules are set up to guide driving in Uganda that is to say;
- It is illegal to drive any motor vehicle without valid driver license.
- The minimum age for driving is 18 years.
- Drivers and all passengers are to wear protective seat belts.
- Motorcycle riders must wear protective helmets.
- It is illegal to drive under the influence of drink or a drug. The permitted blood alcohol level is 0.08%.
- The speed limit on highways is 100 km/h (62 mph), outside built up areas – 80 km/h (50 mph) and 50 km/h (31 mph) in urban built up areas.
- The third-party insurance is mandatory.
- To use a mobile phone whilst driving is illegal.
- A rear-facing baby seat must not be fit into a seat protected by an active frontal airbag.
- At intersections, drivers must give way to traffic from his right.
However almost all of the above rules are frequently broken by drivers on Ugandan roads. Matatu drivers and bodabodas are the known rule breakers.
For instance, most drivers only wear protective seatbelts at the sight of a traffic police officer, until then, they neglect this rule. Not forgetting, most cars have faulty seat belts and therefore people ignore them.
Much as the authorities introduced the ‘Kawunyemu’ (alcohol blow) operation to hinder drink driving, a number of people always drive under the influence.
Most people overtake other drivers especially on highways, this also leads to over speeding and thus high chances of accidents on most roads.
It is because of these broken rules that driving in Uganda becomes hard especially for the new drivers as well as the unfamiliar drivers.
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