“Truck Overloaded Equals Truck Lost.” That’s just about in the ball pack when you start to describe the new set of regulations that the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) put out against overloading.
The new UNRA Vehicle Dimension Regulations which were signed off by the Works Minister Eng. Monica Ntege Azuba late last year spell out a total of 62 different fines for overloading.
These range from $90.95 (about Shs. 332,000) for those in excess of half a ton, to $145,889.80 (about Shs. 533million) for those found in excess of 31.5tons.
The new regulations according to UNRA’s media relations manger Alan Ssempebwa were adopted following a series of stakeholder meetings with the Works Ministry.
Implementation, Ssempebwa says, started this year.
As of the late last week three trucks had been impounded and slapped with the maximum fine.
One was intercepted on Kumi road heading to the DRC from Kenya, loaded in excess of 83 tons of soap products.
“This truck bypassed our weighbridge, but our traffic police colleagues helped us stop it and force it to return to the weighbridge,” Ssempebwa told us.
Another truck headed to Sudan from Kenya was found in excess of 94 tons of cement.
These he says are currently impounded at the Mbale Weighbridge.
Mr Ssempebwa says the impounded trucks are required pay the fine to the Uganda Revenue Authority, under the maximum gross weight fees.
The UNRA mouthpiece says the authority decided to introduce these regulations on account of lack of punitive laws to deter trucks that damage roads.
“Tax payers pay for these roads; their money we thought should not go to waste. We don’t want to construct roads only to construct again later,” he said.
On whether or not the truck drivers and other road used have been informed of these new regulations, Ssepwebwa told us, “We have held wide stakeholder engagement with truck drivers along all our highways; we have also given this material to transporters. They are fully aware.”
He added that owners who are unable to pay the fines, their trucks after a specified amount of time will be auctioned off as is the case with other impounded goods.