The works ministry has come up with stringent measures among bus operators geared towards saving lives of passengers and other road users during the festive season.
All bus drivers and buses meant for operation during the festive season are required to be verified and accredited among other interventions for reducing accidents.
Winstone Katushabe, the chief licensing officer and the commissioner for the transport regulations and safety at the ministry of works and transport, said bus operators who will be tempted to engage unaccredited drivers and buses will be criminally charged.
This was during the end of year public hearing for bus operators and bus terminal mangers in preparation for the festive season operation at the ministry head offices on Port Bell Road in Kampala on Wednesday.
Katushabe said it was incumbent upon bus operators to ensure that their respective bus crews observe the Covid-19 standard operating procedures (SOPs) when loading passengers, “failure to do so, the upper hand of the law will determine what next”.
“Whoever violates the set SOPs and other road safety measures risks having the operator licence revoked,” said Katushabe.
He said unlicensed vehicles, including school buses that have for some time been illegally used for carrying passengers during the festive seasons are to be impounded.
However, bus operators expressed concern over the laxity of enforcement of Covid-19 SOPs among taxi operators.
They said it may not make sense for passengers who have been safely transported in buses but when they are terminated, they are congested in taxis and pick-ups to their respective final destinations.
Charles Ssebambulidde, the traffic Police spokesperson who represented the director for Traffic and road safety, said the reinstated Fika Salama Operation specifically targets among other things the errant drivers and vehicles in dangerous mechanical condition.
He said they were minimising arrests but instead they would give the caplritss heavy instant penalties that are supposed to be paid to the URA account before releasing the vehicle.
He warned bus operators against abuse of route charts and and loading of passengers in non-gazetted terminals.
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