Traffic Police Officers Ordered to Impound Trucks Loaded With Mobile Market Vendors

The directorate of traffic police has directed its personnel in all regions to impound trucks loaded with luggage and market vendors as well as those that are loading casual workers.

Assistant Superintendent of Police -ASP Faridah Nampiima today explained that they have recently registered a number of accidents involving trucks taking luggage and vendors to mobile markets or those carrying personnel to work in large farms. 

Records at Nateete Police station which is the headquarters of the traffic police directorate show that by end of August this year, more than 30 trucks loaded with market vendors and merchandise had be involved in accidents across the country.

ASP Nampiima said the trucks have not only killed 37 market vendors but have left scores nursing bad injuries in hospitals. Police say it is time they put a stop to such trucks that are too lethal to market vendors. 

“Those vehicles carry goods and people mainly market traders at the same time. We have so far registered 30 crashes and we have lost 37 lives. We warn truck owners and traders who are carried on those trucks to stop it immediately,” says ASP Nampiima.

One of the deadliest incidents of the truck accidents happened in Bukomansimbi district in May this year whereby 11 people died at Kawoko-Kigaba village, along the Masaka-Villa Maria road-Sebambule road.

Police cite the Bukomansimbi incident as one of those where people paid a price for disguising themselves as pedestrians in order to pass the checkpoint. Traffic officers said the truck passed the checkpoint with about 10 people while the rest crossed on foot and motorcycles and they loaded themselves on it after half a kilometer. 

Out of the 45 people who were loaded on the Bukomansimbi truck, 27 survived with fractured ribs, legs, and arms while only seven sustained minor injuries.

Another truck overturned at Ikoba road junction in Masinde killing five occupants on spot. These were workers of the Kinyara sugar factory. Police through the Albertine region spokesperson, said the Masindi truck had over 70 casual laborers. 

ASP Nampiima said trucks are meant for carrying goods only warning that any of such vehicles found loaded with passengers will be impounded. Police have warned companies that are found of lodging their personnel on trucks to stop it or else drivers will be arrested and charged in courts of law.

Police say most of the gruesome road accidents this year have happened less than a kilometer after the checkpoint. The drivers often reduce speed when they are about to reach checkpoints and decide to increase speed after. Many have ended up overturning vehicles or causing head-on crashes. 

Already road experts have expressed worry about what will happen on roads since checkpoints and roadblocks have been removed following the President’s directive last week that they were delaying the movement of goods and causing unnecessary traffic congestion.

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