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Uganda:Police move to arrest drunken road users as Christmas nears

Police in Uganda have launched a countrywide operation to arrest and detain drunken drivers, riders and pedestrians to curb traffic accidents during this festive season.
While addressing journalists on Tuesday, Mr Norman Musinga, the Kampala Metropolitan Traffic Commander who represented Dr Steven Kasiima, the Director of Traffic at the Police Force said the 1998 Road traffic act mandates the force to protect Ugandans against road traffic accidents and whoever they find drunk on Ugandan roads this festive season will be subjected to a 12-hour detention to allow them sober up.

“It is illegal to drive when someone has taken alcohol beyond the recommended limit. When we find you drunk and using the road in a manner which endangers the lives of others, we shall detain you for 12 hours,” he said.
According to Mr Musinga, following their campaigns against drink-driving, the public has seen the advantage of detaining drunk drivers until they sober up, rather receiving news about the dead relatives.

“We always ask the relatives whether they wanted to hear that their person died due to drunkenness, or the person is detained in Police custody and they have preferred the detention,” he said.
According to Frank Kugonza, the director motor vehicle inspections, 60 percent of the accident vehicles they receive at the Dangerous Mechanical Condition (DMC) yard in Naguru, are of motor vehicles which got involved in alcohol related accidents.
According to Mr Musinga, at least 682 Ugandans died in alcohol related traffic accidents in 2011, 645 in 2012, 670 in 2013 and 672 in 2014.

The campaign codenamed Red Card Campaign is in partnership with Uganda Breweries Limited and Uber whose services were sought to offer free transport to drunk drivers.
According to David Onyango the Uganda Breweries Corporate relations manager, the company is encouraging their consumers to drink responsibly during the festive season to avoid deaths that could result from consuming their products.
“We do not restrict you from consuming alcohol but we are saying drink responsibly, space your drinks with non-alcoholic drinks,” he said.

©Alleastafrica and Daily Monitor

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