OVER 1,000 fake driving permits have been seized by the Uganda Taxi Operators and Drivers Association (UTODA) since the beginning of 2008, the association national chairman, John Ndyomugyenyi, has disclosed.
â€œThe fake permits are in two categories. The first category has genuine PSV (passenger service vehicle) class 1 and 2, but forged class 3. In the second category, all the classes are forged,â€ he explained.
Ndyomugyenyi said UTODA had registered 30,000 drivers, 20,000 of whom have genuine permits. â€œMost fake driving permits are in Kampala district with very few up country,â€ Ndyomugyenyi added.
â€œWe have sensitised the drivers whose fake documents are in our custody. We have also advised others with false permits to submit them. Most drivers still fear to surrender them. We appeal to those still using them to come to the UTODA head office. There will be no penalty for such drivers.â€
Ndyomugyenyi said UTODA has plans to lobby Parliament to draft a law to ban drivers who cause two fatal accidents. He said in efforts to curb the road carnage, the association had established a computerised system to monitor taxis.
UTODA also wants the Minister of Finance to support their proposal to introduce 30-seater buses to decongest Kampala city.
â€œCurrently, passengers to Jinja, Masaka, Kayunga, Iganga, Kyotera and Busega are the only ones using the 30-seater buses. The 14-seater omni-buses could be phased out slowly without any hullabaloo,â€ clarified Ndyomugyenyi.
He said drivers and taxi owners would be educated about the advantages of using bigger buses, popularly known as Coasters. He said Coaster are hardly involved in accidents, use less fuel and carry more passengers.
Uganda has the highest number of road accidents in the Great Lakes region, which covers Rwanda, Burundi, Congo, Tanzania and Kenya, according to the Police statistics.
A report presented to Parliament last year indicated that deaths from motor accidents rose from 778 in 1990 to 2,034 in 2004, while road accidents rose from 5,674 in 1990 to 19,528 in 2006.
In May, the Ministry of Works said the cost of road accidents was at about 2.3% of the countryâ€™s gross domestic product. The human factor was responsible for 80% of the accidents, while mechanical factors contributed 10%. Uganda loses over sh300b annually in losses caused by accidents.
UTODA seizes 1,000 fake permits