By Christopher Nyeko
GULU: Police in Gulu City on Monday impounded impounded 134 motorcycles for not complying with the directives issued by the Directorate of Traffic and Road Safety Spokesperson Faridah Nampiima.
Last week Nampiima said lack of required road gears has attributed accidents among the boda boda riders in the country thus ordering the impoundment of all motorcycles without the required road protective gears.
The Aswa River Region Police Spokesperson David Ongom Mudong confirmed the impounding of the above motorcycles.
“They did not have helmets, riding permit, reflector jacket and insurance as required,” he said.
On the other hand, the price for the above requirements have shot up in Gulu following the directive.
The price for a reflector has shot up from 3000 shillings to 10,000 shillings while the helmet has shot up from 30,000 shillings to 50,000 thousand shillings.
Denis Opiyo, a rider at centenary stage in Laroo-pece division said he was shocked with the prices of a reflector jacket which was selling like hot cakes.
People were in a cue scorching hot sunshine to buy a reflector jacket from Jia hardware where it was sold at seven thousand shilling which they said it was at least cheapest compared to those in other hardware stores.
“I was surprised after getting the price of this reflector extravagantly increased, nothing you could do apart from buying it because the traffic police are very strict and there is no way you can ride without reflector jacket” he noted.
Kenneth Odida, one of the boda boda cyclists at the landmark trade centre in Laroo Pece said, their stage has bought the reflector jackets for all of its members for easy identification of their members.
“We are operating in the city centre and their issues of boda boda running away with client’s luggage have been registered in many stages within the city. That is why we have been keen for our members to put on a reflector jacket with their numbers and names tag printed on it for easily identification”
Brenda Akello, cashier at Pol Ber general hardware, said the prices of the helmets and reflector jackets used at three two shilling from the wholesalers have gone up to five thousand hence prompted them to increase the price for their customers in Gulu city.
“Most of our customers are road constructor, event organizers, construction workers and a few boda boda cyclists, who have been buying reflector from us for easy identification and visibility while on duties” she disclosed.
Emmy Ocen, the chairperson of Gulu city west Bodaboda association, said his association has two thousand twenty registered members but only one thousand and ten members have riding permits.
Ocen added that he has been lobbying for training on road safety, but most of his members never comply with the call and shunned it, however he said the benefits was that the participants would have obtained riding permit, helmet, and reflector after the training.
He therefore anticipated that if police remained strict in the implementation of these directives, many houses would break, gender based violence would increase and criminal activities in the city may rise as many of the bodaboda cyclists would be unable to fend for their family.
Patrick Okello, a resident of Loyoajonga in Omoro district who deals in charcoal business told UGReports that his motorcycle was impounded because he did not have a riding permit.
“Today I came to Gulu city to sell three sacks of charcoal but my motorcycle was impounded by the police and they have directed me to go to the Watu who loaned me this motorcycle to avail me with the entire requirement if I want to get back my motorcycle” he lamented.
Okello was struggling to get back his impounded motorcycle while many other boda boda cyclists were seen playing cat and mouse with police in Gulu city.