In a move to control road accidents and other traffic irregularities, the government has come up with a law with conditions attached to a driving licence whereby every licence will have points to be deducted proportionately whenever a driving licence holder commits a road traffic offence.
Tabling the Written Laws (Miscellaneous Amendments) (No 2) Bill of 2011 on Monday, Attorney General (AG) Frederick Werema said the amendments to the Road Traffic Act would help reduce road accidents.
He aid according to the law, the minister responsible might make regulations prescribing the manner in which the driving licence point system would operate.
Speaking on behalf of Parliamentary Constitution, Legal Affairs and Public Administration Committee Manyoni West MP Paul Lwanji cautioned the government against creating opportunities for more corrupt practices among law enforcement agents.
“If left as it stands, the law will create room for corruption practices between drivers and traffic police. We, as a committee, advise the government that deduction of points has to be done in a court of law. It is only when the court has proved beyond reasonable doubts that a certain driver has committed such and such an offence, it should give a verdict and not otherwise,” he stressed.
The committee advised the Minister responsible to institute regulations, which categorised the kind of offences that qualified for deduction of points.
Acting Shadow Minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs Raya Ibrahim Khamis said members of the opposition were in support of the traffic law’s amendments.
Ubungo MP John Mnyika said the minister had been given too much power in the Traffic Amendments Act proposing reduction of powers. But he alerted the House that whatever the amendments to the law, the government was treating a minor issue instead of pertinent matters.
Mnyika, who was referring to a recent report on traffic performance and management by the Controller and Auditor General, said the government was only treating a trivial problem.
“The problem here is corruption on roads. Whatever we are doing here, we are just creating opportunities for corruption to the law enforcers,” said the legislator.
He said the major issue was the traffic police and not the law. “Our laws are so good but the implementers are the main problem here. I think we need to know that this is the administration issue and the system and not the law. The government must seek ways of cleaning up the whole system instead of instituting laws that are impractical,” said Mnyika.
Special Seats MP Pindi Chana said the government needed to classify the kinds of offences, which corresponded to the reduction of points from the drivers since not all offences qualified for the deduction of points.
“We need to have points on driving licences to reduce the deaths of manpower in road accidents,” she stressed.