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Police Cautions Against Installing Sirens in Private Cars

The Traffic and Road Safety Act lists the President, Vice President, the Speaker of Parliament, the Deputy Speaker, the Chief Justice, the Prime Minister, Ambulances, Bullion Vans, and Fire Brigade, police and motor vehicles of armed forces, as only those vehicles with the right of way.
AIGP Asan Kasingye

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Police Chief Political Commissioner Asan Kasingye has urged road users to capture details of all private vehicles with sirens and flashlights and share them with the authorities for action.

The appeal follows public concern about personalized vehicles that forcibly seek the right of way with sirens and blinking lights, causing confusion on the streets and major highways.  One road user in Kampala recently shared a picture on social media, of a personalized car with sirens that she had declined to give a right of way. While she was cautioned against blocking the right of way for a vehicle with sirens, a number of road users supported her obstinacy.

The Traffic and Road Safety Act lists the President, Vice President, the Speaker of Parliament, the Deputy Speaker, the Chief Justice, the Prime Minister, Ambulances, Bullion Vans, and Fire Brigade, police and motor vehicles of armed forces, as only those vehicles with the right of way.

Kasingye says that Ministers and Members of Parliament (MPs), head of missions, embassies and cultural leaders can also have right of way through an instrument issued or designated by Internal Affairs minister. He adds that if someone is not designated by the minister of internal affairs or by law, police consider him or her a traffic offender.  

Kasingye says recording and sharing such pictures would enable police to hunt for the drivers. He explains that it is illegal for any private her to install sirens and flashlights without permission from the Minister of Internal Affairs. According to Kasingye, all convoys have to be controlled by police lead cars or a car bearing a government number plate. 

“It is illegal for anyone to buy sirens and install them in a personal car. It’s against the law. Traffic officers need to inform the public and drivers to participate in arresting cars with illegal sirens,” Kasingye says.   

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“The instrument for the right of way is not for good. It is not permanent. It can be withdrawn from you anytime. If I was a cultural leader and minister for internal affairs signed an instrument because I drive through a certain road where there is jam, he can give me right of way. But if there is a change in my status I will no longer be entitled to the right of way,” Kasingye explains.

Police says since the public may not be aware of who has illegally obtained sirens or unlawfully installed them on his or her car, filming and sharing details or pictures of such vehicles would be a basis for police to follow up and establish how someone got the sirens and flash light and appropriate action would be taken. 

Kasingye urges all traffic officers to tasks people to explain how they got sirens and flashlights. He believes that public participation and hardness of traffic officers would minimize incidents of abusing the right of way.  

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