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LIST: Traffic police names top Kampala drink-driving hotspots

Kampala, (UG): The Police in Kampala Metropolitan has named roads where you have a high chance of being crushed by a drunk- driver when moving around Kampala and its neighbourhood.

The Traffic Police have named Ggaba Road, Kiira Road, Jinja Road, Entebbe Road, Kampala-Expressway and Northern Bypass as some of the most deadly roads in the night because of drunk drivers.

Superintendent of Police –SP Micheal Kananura, the traffic police spokesperson, said police monitored the roads using Closed Circuit Television –CCTV cameras and their records indicate driving, riding or walking on such roads is very risky as many drivers are drunk, especially during the night hours.

“The Traffic Directorate has identified high-risk roads where most accidents caused by driving under the influence of alcohol occur. We have therefore decided to intensify operations targeting drivers who drive under the influence of alcohol,” says SP Kananura.

Every year, drink driving is listed among the leading risk factors for road deaths and injuries not only in Uganda but worldwide.

The World Health Organization and Uganda traffic police have often noted that alcohol impairs both the driver’s vision and decision-making ability thus putting all road users at high risk of injury or death.

The Traffic and Road Safety Amendment Act (2020) provides in section 111 the offence of driving with blood alcohol concentration above the prescribed limit.

In the regulations of 2023, it is considered that any alcohol concentration that reaches 50 milligrams in 100 millilitres of blood is considered high, especially for a vehicle that is not for public service or ambulance.

Similarly, a driver of a public service vehicle or ambulance is considered drunk once blood alcohol concentration reaches 20 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood.

Regulation 4 of the Traffic and Road Safety 2023 provides that the prescribed breath alcohol level for a driver of a vehicle other than a PSV or ambulance is 25 milligrams of alcohol in 100 milliliters of blood while that of a driver of a PSV or ambulance is 10 milligrams of alcohol in 100 milliliters of breath.

SP Kananura has reminded drivers of section 111 (1) provides that a fine not exceeding six million shillings for a person who is convicted of drunk driving or imprisonment not exceeding three years or both.

However, the offender can be issued with an Express Penalty Ticket Scheme –EPS of 200,000 shillings at the discretion of the overall commander. The traffic police last Friday arrested 38 drivers who were found to be driving under the influence of alcohol. This was from the operations carried out along Ggaba and Jinja roads.

“We are therefore extending these operations to cover the entire Kampala Metropolitan Area, other cities and some highways that have been identified. In these operations we have added a component of taking biometrics (Fingerprints) so as to have a profile (Database) of drivers who will have been found to be driving motor vehicles under the influence of alcohol,” says SP Kananura.

At least 87 people died in traffic crashes last week while over 300 were left nursing serious and minor injuries. Police data for 2022 shows that vehicles involved in road crashes increased by 40 per cent last year.

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