In December last year, Traffic police directed all drivers to get a pair of reflector triangles for use in case their vehicles break down, Eagle Online learned.
The directive was announced by Faridah Nampiima, the Spokesperson of Traffic Police. She said failure to have the reflectors attracts an express fine of Shs 100,000 de. She said police banned the use of tree branches with immediate effect.
The directive comes at a time when the police are cracking a whip on boda-boda riders who have no reflector jackets. Police say the move is aimed at minimizing cases of road carnage.
Traffic and Road Road Safety (Reflectors) Regulations, 2012 stipulates that all vehicles except a motorcycle shall carry on board at least two reflective emergency warning signs painted in red color. Any person who contravenes regulations commits an offense and is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding twenty-five currency points or imprisonment not exceeding one year or both.
According to the 2020 Insurance Regulatory Authority report, Uganda is estimated to have a total of 2,302,021 cars. The number could have increased in the last two years.
A quick sample at some of the shops dealing in car spare parts, a pair of reflector triangles costs between Shs 80,000 and Shs 100,000. This implies that the owners of the 2,302,021 cars will pay Shs 184.1 billion to get triangle reflectors.
In tandem, police will collect over Shs 230.2 billion when all the car owners default on the directive.
Interviewed for this story, Nampiima said this is not a new law; it has been there since the time memorial. “When you buy a new car, it comes with these reflectors so we only need drivers to comply with traffic laws to avoid road accidents,” she told Eagle Online.