The Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) intends to install networked devices at its weigh bridges at Busitema, Lukaya and Mbale stations in a bid to increase truck drivers’ compliance and further the fight against fraud.
This comes after several complaints from truckers on a wide range of issues such as delays and corruption at the weigh bridges. This system will allow us to monitor activities and record what is going on,said Dan Alinange, UNRA’s head of corporate communications said.
The procurement process for the supply, delivery and commissioning of Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) and Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) devices at the three stations is underway. If there are no hiccups, the contract will be awarded in June. Two years ago, transporters rose up in arms against the weigh bridge system and petitioned Parliament over the system’s inefficiencies.
Statistics from UNRA indicate that of the 7,877 vehicles that were weighed at the weigh bridges in the first half of this financial year, 446 were found to be overloaded. Further figures reveal that between January and March, Busitema weigh bridge station recorded the highest number of axle load regulation violations, while Luwero recorded the highest number of vehicles which were grossly overloaded.
Most of the offenders are truck haulers carrying general merchandise, mainly foodstuffs and building materials destined for South Sudan. Alinange however, says the onus of maintaining road infrastructure is the responsibility of every stakeholder.
“The onus of complying with the law rests is upon all parties involved in the transportation of freight. These include the operator, consignor and consignee, all of whom suffer the inconvenience from non-compliance,” he said.
Alinange added: “What they (offenders) pay to the Government is very low in relation to the cost of the damage and is not really a deterrent to overloading. Indeed, it favours operators to deliberately overload and pay relatively low fines.”
Source: New Vision