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Why police can’t stop express penalty scheme defaulters from renewing permits

Police launch of the Express Penalty Scheme. File Photo

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Traffic police have explained why they have failed to stop the express penalty scheme defaulters from renewing their driving permits.

Last year, police introduced the automated system to track drivers who default on the payment of fines that are issued to them by police officers under the express penalty scheme.

Under this system, defaulters would be tracked because all driving permit numbers and vehicle number plates are captured in the system.

Police argued that this would reduce the number of drivers who dodge the payment of the penalties.

Faridah Nampiima, a member of the express penalty scheme technical team says that they can’t deny drivers from renewing their permits because there is no law authorizing them.

Nampiima said it is the Ministry of Works that should take lead in drafting a Bill or policy that would enable them to stop defaulters from acquiring new permits.

Susan Kataike, the Senior Public Relations Officer at Ministry of Works and Transport said the ministry had planned to first conduct countrywide sensitization of drivers about the system but they were hampered by Covid-19 pandemic.

Kataike adds that the ministry intends to use the recently amended traffic and road safety Act where drivers would be earning or losing points for being good or bad drivers which will be implemented as soon as the issuance of new driving permits begins.

Nampiima and Acting Traffic Director Bazir Mugisha said the automated EPS has reduced cases of defaulting since the drivers have several options of clearing the penalties.

While launching the automated EPS last year, the police indicated that they had lost more than 40 Billion Shillings from defaulters.

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