The Uganda National Roads Authority, UNRA, says this is a result of both lack of knowledge on the use of high-speed roads (highways) or expressways or selfishness by motorists who disregard the rights and safety of others.
Ugandans do not know how to use expressways, and dual carriageway, implying that it will take a lot for the country to rip the benefits of the
huge investment in such infrastructure projects. Several motorists drive from points where they are not supposed to, causing significant inconvenience to other road users on the dual
The Uganda National Roads Authority, UNRA, says this is a
result of both lack of knowledge on the use of high-speed roads (highways) or expressways,
or selfishness by motorists who disregard the rights and safety of others.
In Uganda, basic rules include driving on the left side of the road unless when overtaking. When driving along a single carriageway, the driver is more cautious on the lane they are driving
on, aware that going onto the right side will most likely result in a collision
with oncoming traffic. This is hardly possible on a dual carriageway and motorists
feel safe to drive on the right (or outer) lane, which is wrong, unless when
“It is common for slow-moving heavy trucks and other vehicles
driving on the outer or right lane, but this is wrong and punishable by the
law. In fact, even if you are alone on the road, in this case, the dual
carriageway, you are supposed to stay on the left or innermost lane, until when
overtaking”, says UNRA’s Manager for Media Relations, Allan Ssempebwa Kyobe, says.
The slow-moving vehicles on
the outer lane lead to faster vehicles opting to overtake from the left, which
in itself, is an offence under the traffic highway code. Areas where the traffic code is most violated on the Entebbe
Expressway and the Northern Bypass are the toll-gates, where only a few motorists
slowdown to the 20km per hour speed limit, despite the displayed road signs.
Others are the road marks especially where a road becomes
smaller or two lanes become one or in the case of the Entebbe Expressway,
where it joins the northern bypass at Busega, among others. Kyobe says that although the marks dividing the lanes are not supposed to be driven over, many
motorists use them as an advantage to overtake other vehicles.
//Cue in; “It’s either…
Cue out…consideration for road signs”//
Kyobe says there is a need for traffic regulations to be
strictly enforced and the penalties made harsher for drivers who knowingly
break the regulations. He says that the roads have all it takes to ensure the safety of
all users, including the road signage, guardrails and markings, among others,
adding that traffic police have a bigger part to play now.
Cue in; “For us this takes…
Cue out…lying to ourselves.”//
Traffic Police Spokesman Charles Sebambulidde says motorists
are not aware of most of the traffic rules along expressways because they are
still new to Ugandans. But he says even on ordinary highways, like on climbing
lanes, many do not respect the ‘keep left rule’.
He says that while there is a need for sensitization campaigns,
these are a function of the Ministry of Works and Transport, which he says
should also make statutory instruments on how to use the high-speed roads.
//Cue in; “Expressway is a road…
Cue out… can overtake you.”//
Uganda got its first expressway in June 2018 when the Kampala-Entebbe
Expressway was commissioned by President Yoweri Museveni and then China’s Vice Prime
Minister Wang Yang. Other high-speed ways in the pipeline
include the 28km Kampala-Mpigi
Expressway which is planned for completion in 2023, the 77-kilometre Kampala-Jinja Expressway planned for completion in
2026 and the Kampala Northern bypass.
The projects are mainly aimed at decongesting the capital by
diverting traffic from the city centre, but also giving a safe, secure and fast
driving experience for the motorists. Taxi drivers along the northern bypass said there is a need
for sensitization and signs that are easy to interpret.