Traffic Laws & Road Safety Rules in Uganda – Car Hire Uganda

Traffic Laws & Road Safety Rules in Uganda – Car Hire Uganda

Planning a 4×4 self drive road trip and want to rent a car in Uganda? Well, it is important to remind yourself of the most important aspect of driving before thinking of driving in Uganda: the traffic laws. Since driving involves taking a risk, you will find following traffic laws is one of the key things not only to keep you safe on the road, but also to protect other road users.

It is true that drivers put themselves and other road users at risk every time they are behind the wheel. However, driving on an African road can mean a different take: a daunting task yet a Ugandan road is no different. Some drivers are prone to failing to follow obvious traffic laws such as overspeeding, drinking and driving, and texting while driving, among others. This is a hazard to themselves as well as other road users. Following traffic laws demonstrates your ability to drive safely on the roads.

In Uganda, traffic laws are designed by the Ministry of Works and Transport, the Uganda Police, and the Uganda National Roads Authority and applied for the safety of road users. Tickets, fines, and jail time are usually enforced for major violations. Therefore, it is important to observe traffic laws and practice good driving skills, which in turn benefit all road users and help to avoid crashes. Below are some traffic laws every driver is obliged to adhere to while driving.

Car Rental Guide to Driving in Uganda

1. Do not drive without a driver’s license.

You are required to have a valid driver’s license before embarking on your trip. It is permission from the traffic authorities to allow you to drive around the country, whether on a sightseeing safari, a city ride, or as a driver for new driving jobs. If you are a first-timer in Uganda, you are expected to have a valid international driving license in English. For those licenses that are not translated, they should be accompanied by English-translated documents. No car rental company in Uganda will rent you a car without presenting your valid driving license. Driving without a license is illegal and punishable in accordance with the traffic laws of Uganda. While self-driving, always keep your valid driving license at hand to avoid embarrassment from traffic authorities.

2. Have third-party insurance.

No uninsured car is allowed on the road in Uganda; all vehicles have third-party insurance, and stickers are on the windscreen. Some upcountry roads are still being developed, so having third-party insurance will be very helpful for your trip in case you need it.

3. Do not text and drive.

It’s illegal and punishable to drive while texting in Uganda. This wrong practice is one of the most rampant causes of road accidents, causing injuries or even death to the victims involved. Such traffic offenders usually pay a fine of 2,000,000 Ugandan shillings,  are imprisoned for up to one year, or both when caught using a phone while driving. So always keep your phone away from you while driving. If you receive a phone call, you can park a side car for a few minutes to receive your call and later continue with your journey.

4. Do not drink and drive.

Like in any other country, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is illegal and punishable in Uganda. You are required to be responsible for drinking alcohol if you are going to drive. The accepted blood alcohol level is only 0.08%, and test results that exceed the accepted blood alcohol level can cost you 6,000,000 Ugandan shillings or get you imprisoned for up to three years.

5. Drive within the speed limit.

Always check your speed limits while driving to avoid penalties and accidents. Different roads may have different speed limits. For example, on highways, the limit must be 100 km/h (62 mph); outside built-up areas, it should be 80 km/h (50 mph); and in urban built-up areas, the limit is 50 km/h (31 mph). The penalty for overspeeding costs between UGX 300,000 and UGX 1,200,000, or imprisonment of between six months and two years.

6. Wear seat belts at all times.

Wearing seatbelts is a mandatory requirement whenever you are embarking on a road trip. Wearing seatbelts ensures your safety and comfort, as well as that of the passengers throughout the journey. It’s every road user’s responsibility to ensure safety on the road to avoid accidents, and wearing a seatbelt might be one of those measures.

7. Do not park on the road.

Some roads are really narrow, so always try to avoid blocking traffic by driving carefully, not packing in the road, or driving responsibly.