Some were seen trying to evade the authorities by turning back while others were caught off-guard.
KAMPALA - As police amplify efforts towards road safety, traffic police in and around the city resumed their operation on motorcyclists (boda bodas).
For some riders, it was business unusual in the face of a dramatic crackdown along Kampala road, Wandegeya, Bwaise, Namirembe road and other places.
Some were seen trying to evade the authorities by turning back while others were caught off-guard. Arrests were made and bikes impounded.
Earlier this year – in July – traffic police carried out a similar operation and impounded several boda bodas over lack of permits and other operational licenses.
But they soon suspended the exercise the same month to allow the riders acquire the required documentation.
Fast-forward to today and again, scores of motorcylists have fallen culprit in a general operation dubbed ‘Tembeya Salama’ (which translates directly to ‘travel safe’).
ASP Nasif Tomusange, who commanded the operation in Kampala, said the riders were given enough time to sort out their issues but that some did not take advantage of the grace period.
"Most of them don't have permits allowing them to ride on streets,” he said.
“They never went to driving school, they often make mistakes on roads as they are not aware of the traffic rules and cannot interpret road signs.”
Authorities are looking out for the mechanical condition of the motorcycles, permit validity, helmets, lights and other operational licenses.
The exercise is aimed at preventing road accidents especially now that the festive season is fast approaching.
"When we carried out the operation last time, we registered less serious accidents in the city as only qualified motorcyclists were using the roads,” said Tomusange.
Riders are required to go to police with their boda boda log books and requirements as ordered by officers, he added, assuring that the operation will continue until all motorcyclists have the requirements for road use.
HEAVY LOAD ONBOARD? Clearly, guilty!
"HERE IT IS, AFANDE"
What some riders said
Hassan Kalule, whose bike was impounded, admitted that police gave them time to acquire documents but that they were too expensive for him to get in that grace period.
"We have responsibilities at home and we earn little from these boda bodas. Police should give us more time to acquire all qualifications," he said.
Tonny Miiro, who rides in Rubaga, said there is need for the government to give permits and licenses to all cyclists to operate and pay fees back to the government later.
"This will help prevent accidents that may happen as cyclists are running away from traffic officers.”