Police crackdown on boda-bodas bites as fares double

LILLIAN. N MUTYABA

Transport fares in the Greater Masaka sub region have more than doubled as a result of the ongoing police crackdown on boda-boda cyclists.

Police launched last week, and so far, more than 500 motorcycles have been impounded.

The riders are fined under the express penalty scheme.

Greater Masaka deputy Regional Police Commander Lameck Kigozi says the operation intends to streamline the boda boda industry in the area.

“Boda-boda riders tend to misbehave on the road and operate with high levels of impunity without respecting traffic regulations thereby putting lives of their passengers, themselves, pedestrians and other road users to danger,” Kigozi said.

Some of the requirements police is looking for in the operations include among others, safety helmets, reflector jackets, third party licence, good mechanical condition which many of the boda boda riders are operating without.

The owners of the impounded motorcycle are required a mandatory fine ranging between Shs 100,000 to Shs 200,000 on top of meeting all the requirements before being released.

A number of motorcycles remain held at different stations as owners have either failed or refused to pay the fine in relevant banks.

A number of people have backed the police on the crackdown saying it would help to reduce accidents and other road habits that lead to road accidents.

“All along we have been crying for such an operation, police has all along been focusing much on car drivers yet boda-boda cyclists paused a big threat on the road,” Alex Kayemba a resident of Lukaya town noted.

Some people have also demanded that Police carry out medical examinations on commercial cyclists as many of them operate under the influence of alcohol and narcotic drugs thereby causing accidents.

A recent United Nations special report about safety on Ugandan roads has indicated that at least 10 people die daily the country’s roads due to boda boda accidents.

Kigozi says the crackdown will continue until when boda-boda operators start observing traffics laws.