By Samuel Balagadde
THE Government is moving to plug loopholes through which driving permits are being forged.
Face Technologies, which is contracted to issue driving permits, has said it is introducing driving permits with enhanced security features to beat the crooks.
Face Technologies said a big number of Ugandans drive without driving permits, have forged ones or drive vehicles outside the class they should be driving. They said this is recipe for accidents.
Face Technologies said its data base reflects only 650,000 recorded drivers with genuine permits out of an estimated million vehicles on the roads.
Face Technologies Managing Director, Serfies Serfontein, said the enhanced security features will be to international standards and are difficult to forge.
The new driving permit was launched by Works and Transport Minister, Eng. Abraham Byandala at the company’s offices in Kyambogo recently. He also launched the passenger driver badges.
Eng. Byandala said initiative is intended to combat the high rates of rod carnage, which he blamed on incompetent drivers carrying forged drivers permits.
According to the Acting director, Traffic and Road safety in the Police force, Dr. Stephen Kasiima introduction of badges to Public Service Vehicle (PSV) drivers is intended to weed out the incompetent ones carrying forged permits.
About 550 bus drivers submitted applications for badges but 100 failed the vetting. This means that only 450 bus drivers’ quality yet there are about 1000 buses licensed to ply the roads.
Kasiima also said that interstate drivers who drive into Uganda will also be vetted in order not to allow unqualified ones on Ugandan roads.
About 550 bus drivers submitted applications for badges but 100 failed the vetting.
According to Winston Katushabe, Secretary Transport Licensing Board (TLB), issuance of drivers’ badges has begun with bus drivers and will later be rolled out to other categories. Bodaboda cyclists will also be vetted and issued with badges and those who fail the test will be stopped from riding.
The badges, he said, are free but would remain government property to be withdrawn from the holder who abuses it. He said that those who successfully apply for the badges would undergo training.
“Applicants for badges must have valid driving permits. A vetting committee will assess the applicant’s driving history and general biography before clearing them for the badge,” said Katushabe.
What other people say
Across section of drivers expressed support for the measures saying it will weed out bad drivers and minimize accidents.
Yunus Kiggundu, chairman United Bus Drivers Association (UBDA) said issuance of badges to needs concerted effort of the enforcement and bus owners to ensure all recruited get them.
Samuel Katumba a taxi driver along Entebbe Road said the government should make the process of driving permit acquisition short to combat forgeries.
Former MP Nathan Byanyima said bus owners who insist on drivers without badges should be penalised.
Joseph Agaba, a bodaboda rider in Kampala asked government to sensitise them public about the badges and the process of acquiring genuine driving permits.
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