President Yoweri Museveni has assented to the Traffic and Road Safety Amendment Bill of 2023 which was recently passed by parliament.
Speaker of the national parliament, Anita Among, said the President has signed into law six Bills.
The Amended Traffic and Road Safety Act which is effective July 1st 2023 provides that a person who fails to comply with set speed limits on highways and urban centers commits an offence and is liable, on conviction, to a fine not exceeding one hundred currency points (Shs 2 million) or imprisonment not exceeding three years, or both.
It also provides for a speed limit to ease the control of speed limit through the express penalty scheme as opposed to court prosecution as provided for under the Roads Act of 2019.
Under the law traffic offences are of a strict liability nature meaning that the burden of proof shifts to the offender to prove to court that they are not liable for the offence preferred against them.
The Act states that, “The Minister may, by regulations, prescribe speed limits in respect of all public roads or sections of public roads.”
It further adds: “Notwithstanding the provisions of any other law, the Minister may, by statutory order, prescribe temporary maximum speed limits for motor vehicles, trailers or engineering plant of different classes or descriptions on any part of any road for such period as may be specified in the order.”
Once a motorist fails to abide by the set speed limits, the Act states thus, “A person who fails to comply with a speed limit set under subsection (1) commits an offence and is liable, on conviction, to a fine not exceeding one hundred currency points or imprisonment not exceeding three years, or both.”
Each currency point equates to Sh20,000, meaning the total fine is sh2m. Currently, motorists who speed pay a fine of sh200,000 through express penalty scheme.
The other bills assented to by the president include; The Appropriations Bill 2023, The Value Added Tax Amendment Bill 2023, and Supplementary Appropriation Bill 2023, Lotteries and Gaming and The Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters Bills, all of 2023.
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