Taxi operators under the Uganda Transport Development Agency (UTRADA) have expressed alarm at the rising number of traffic regulations that are not matched with the quality of infrastructure in Kampala.
Gasto Sekyaaya the vice chairman UTRADA raised this concern at parliament during a hearing to enlist the public’s views on the Traffic and Road Safety Act Amendment Bill, 2018.
Sekyaaya said during the meeting that rather than enacting more traffic regulations, government should focus on enlarging roads in Kampala which are the leading cause of congestion.
“It is that single way traffic road used by the person rushing to Mulago to sign for his wife to be operated, that is used by the taxi driver. It’s the one used by you honourable members. Then you find these ministers who even don’t care”, Sekyaaya said.
As such, he called for the current legal regime to maintained as authorities work on widening roads to international standards.
Sekyaaya also faulted parliament for not consulting with them before the Express Penalty System (EPS) fines were elevated, saying that is too high for taxi drivers to pay.
The on spot charge for errant driving was raised from a moderate 50,000 shillings to 200,000 shillings.
On his part, Ibrahim Magala the lawyer of Kampala Operational Taxi Stages Association (KOTSA) protested attempts by the law to outlaw touting yet in reality without it transporters can hardly survive in business.
Responding, Kafeero Ssekitoleko, parliament’s physical infrastructure committee chairman said the ministry of transport and works is proposing to increase the fine of touts who deafeningly yell out for passengers from three currency points or 60,000 shillings to six million or imprisonment for six months.
It is understood that since the demise of Taxi Operators and Drivers Association (UTODA), efforts by authorities to regulate the taxi industry have faced resistance from different taxi factions.