By Nasser Kasozi Akandwanaho
The Uganda Police Force have announced they will starting on Monday, August 28 launch operations to arrest and also recover huge sums of money still held up in unpaid express penalty scheme tickets issued to drivers.
The express penalty scheme has 25 offences for motorists and offenders are liable to pay between shs20,000 and shs200,000 depending on the offence.
Addressing journalists on Friday, Police spokesperson, Fred Enanga said whereas the system of express penalty scheme was introduced to help police manage minor traffic offenders without necessarily arresting offenders, many have failed to heed to the requirement of paying the EPS tickets within a period of 28 days after being issued.
“The primary objective of the scheme was to deter users from committing road offences and also to decongest our courts. However, many have failed to pay. We shall therefore launch operations targeting EPS defaulters to purposely recover express penalty scheme arrears of about shs8 billion which is out there since January,”Enanga said.
According to the police spokesperson, for the last seven months, a total of 229938 tickets worth shs18.5 billion have been issued , noting that whereas some money has been recovered, many other motorists have failed to pay.
He said in order to recover the shs8 billion still held up in EPS tickets issued to motorists, police is to carry out an operation that will be held countrywide.
“If you know you have not yet paid your EPS ticket, do it over the weekend or else we are cracking down on all defaulters. Starting on Monday, we are to use cameras to track all EPS defaulters.”
According to police, currently a small percentage of the money collected from the EPS tickets returns to the force.
Enanga however noted that government through the Finance Ministry is working on a new arrangement that will see 15% of the money collected from EPS tickets returned to police.
“Many of the motorists out there think that because they have not paid the tickets for a long time, the records were deleted. You are wrong. We have our records stemming from the 1960s. On every road that the vehicle will be moving, a signal will be sent to our officers who will impound it and arrest the driver,” Enanga said.
He revealed that police will also name and shame defaulters in the newspapers and other platforms.
“We are going to feed the number plates of the cars that have defaulted in the CCTV camera system and blacklisted. Wherever the vehicle is spotted by the CCTV camera, out traffic officers will be alerted and the vehicle stopped and impounded,” Traffic Police spokesperson, Faridah Nampiima revealed.