Road Rules in Uganda
Each country has its own rules when it comes to driving on its roads. Rules are essential to maintain order and safety for everyone within the country’s roads, especially with so many cars passing every day. As someone who is new to driving around Uganda, getting familiarized with its road rules must be on the top of your mind to avoid accidents and inconveniences during the whole trip there.
Keep in mind that rules are there for you and your passenger’s safety. Failure to obey the country’s rules and regulations will cost you fines, penalties, and for worse case scenarios, injuries, and death. These will only extend the duration of your trip to process the fines and fees instead of enjoying what the country has to offer. Here are the rules that one must follow within the roads of Uganda:
Do Not Drive Without A Driver’s License in Uganda
A driver’s license is your permission from the authorities to allow you to drive around the country of Uganda. Whether you are driving for sightseeing or as a driver for new driving jobs in Uganda this week, you are required to have it. It is very important to have it everywhere you go because it is illegal in Uganda to drive without a license. If you still don’t have a driver’s license or your license in Uganda has already expired, you can visit any local Face Technologies Offices in Uganda to inquire regarding how to renew your driving permit in Uganda.
Driving without a driver’s license and failure to renew an expired license and using it for driving within the roads of Uganda will cost you a fine of 600,000 Ugandan Shilling to 1,000,000 Ugandan Shilling. You can also be imprisoned for six months. Make sure to follow these laws to avoid getting penalties.
Apply For A Ugandan Driver’s License If Driving For More Than 3 Months
In such cases that you have decided to stay longer than three months, you are already required to get a Ugandan driver’s license. Know where to get a driving permit in Uganda, and if you don’t know how to drive yet, you can look for the list of driving schools in Uganda. They will also tell you how much it costs to learn driving in Uganda.
You might also wonder, how long does it take to learn driving in Uganda? Don’t worry! Your chosen school will give you the information about this. You can also try asking the locals what is the best driving school in Uganda for the best driving experience.
If you are applying or planning to apply for a new driving job in Uganda this week, you must be mindful of the classes of driving permits in Uganda as it will be essential for your job.
Do Not Text and Drive
Texting while driving is illegal in the country. This wrong practice has been causing a lot of accidents that injuries or even death to the people involved. Causing accidents on the Ugandan roads will cost you a fine of 2,000,000 Ugandan Shilling, and you can also be imprisoned for up to one year or both. Make sure to be disciplined enough to follow this law to avoid getting a fine because of driving recklessly.
Have a 3rd Party Insurance
Having third-party insurance in Uganda is necessary. Some roads in the country, especially outside the city, are still being developed, and having third-party insurance will be very helpful for your trip in case you needed it. It is better to be prepared than to be sorry.
Wear Seat Belts At All Times
Wearing seatbelts is also mandatory whenever you are hitting the roads of Uganda. Seatbelt rules are not mandatory for no reason. Your safety should be on the top of your mind, and wearing this will make your journey throughout the country a safer one. Safety must always be ensured to avoid accidents, and wearing a seatbelt, just like in any country, is a must.
Do Not Use An Unlicensed Vehicle
This law seemed to be one of the most disobeyed laws in the country, so you have to make sure that the car you are driving is a licensed one. Violating this will get you a fine costing between UGX 200,000 and UGX 600,000 or imprisonment of between one and two years.
Bringing A Baby On Board
For a family trip, even within the city, always remember that a rear-facing baby seat must not be fitted into a seat protected by a frontal airbag. In the case of an accident, this will cause child restraints as the frontal airbag will push the child’s back, causing restraints.
Driving a DMC
Driving a DMC or car that is in a dangerous mechanical condition will also cause you serious penalties. It is a traffic regulation that is commonly violated by vehicles in Uganda currently. Another offense related to this is overloading. Make sure not to overload the car you are driving, for this can cause accidents on the road. Failure to obey this law will cause you a penalty of UGX 300,000 to UGX 1,200,000 or imprisonment.
Do Not Drink And Drive
Driving under the influence of alcohol will give you a severe penalty in Uganda. You should be responsible for drinking alcohol, especially if you drive a car. The prescribed blood alcohol level is only 0.08%. Having a blood test result that exceeds the allowed blood alcohol level can cost you 6,000,000 Ugandan Shilling or get imprisoned for up to three years. Even the students of driving schools in Uganda are informed about this. So make sure to be responsible with your drinks.
Traffic Signs And Signals
It is important to follow the traffic signs seen on the road of Uganda. They are there for a reason and are usually implemented for your own safety. Since English is the primary language used for instructions in Uganda, it will be easy to understand the road signs, for it will be the same as the other countries.
You just have to be careful not to violate any traffic signs and signals because violating them may cause an accident. It could also cost you a maximum fine of 2,000,000 Ugandan Shilling or get sentenced to imprisonment for up to one year or both.
Regarding Motorcycle Driving
Whether driving a car or a two-wheeled motorcycle, you must be precautious to your own safety on the roads. You still need to follow the road rules in Uganda and must not carry more than one person as this will possibly cause an accident.
Penalties for Disobedience of the Law
Driving rules or laws are there to secure safety on the roads of Uganda and avoid minor to major accidents as much as possible. To maintain such laws, anyone who disobeys it is given penalties to avoid them as much a possible. Now, here is the summary of penalties for violating each road rule in Uganda:
- Speeding – UGX 300,000 to UGX 1,200,000 and or imprisonment of between six months and two years.
- Driving under alcohol influence – UGX 6,000,000 or maximum imprisonment of three years or both
- Driving a DMC – UGX 300,000 to UGX 1,200,000 or imprisonment
- Using an unlicensed vehicle – UGX 200,000 to UGX 600,000 or imprisonment of between one and two years
- Reckless driving – UGX 1,200,000 to UGX 1,800,000 or imprisonment of between two and three years
- Driving without a permit – UGX 600,000 to UGX 3,000,000 or a prison term of between one and five years
- Driving under the influence of drugs – UGX 6,000,000 or maximum imprisonment of three years or both
- Reckless driving causing an accident – UGX 2,000,000 or a maximum sentence of one-year imprisonment or both
- Reckless driving causing injuries – UGX 2,000,000 or a maximum sentence of three years imprisonment or both
- Reckless driving causing death – imprisonment of a maximum of ten years.
General Standards of Driving
Although you can both use manual and automatic cars in Uganda, each has its own pros and cons depending on the road you’ll be heading. But, do note that most of the rental cars in Uganda are automatic, so if you are used to driving automatic vehicles, renting a car in Uganda won’t be a problem for you.
In Uganda, speed limits should also be considered to avoid penalties and accidents. 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).
As mentioned before, the penalty for overspeeding will cost you UGX 300,000 to UGX 1,200,000 and or imprisonment of between six months and two years. Being cautious not to violate this law will save you from a lot of inconveniences and penalties, so make sure to be a responsible driver.
Vehicles in Uganda drive on the left side of the road. It is important to consider that, especially if you are from a country that drives on the right side of the road. Be mindful also whenever approaching intersections and roundabouts, always open the way for those vehicles coming from the right. These are simple things that are being taught in the driving schools of Uganda, but as foreigners, you don’t have to worry about how much driving school is in Uganda. You just have to take note of these.
Traffic Road Signs
Traffic signs in Uganda will be easy to spot and understand, especially if you use English as your first or second language. Road signs in other countries also have a lot of similarities with Ugandan road signs. Strictly obeying the signs will save you from a lot of hassles and any possible accidents on the road. There are three categories of road signs in Uganda: information signs, regulatory signs, warning signs, and guide signs.
Information signs in Uganda give you the proper information on what to expect on the road you’ll be heading. Those signs are for you to be aware of the road situation and are usually in a blue-colored background.
- Pedestrian crossing signs
- Hump signs
- No through road signs
- Parking signs
- Bus stop signs
- Priority over coming vehicles signs
- One way road signs
- Police control signs
- Start of extra lane signs
- End of extra lane signs
- Hospital signs
- First Aid signs
- Telephone signs
- Information signs
- Filling station signs
Regulatory Signs are the signs that dictate the drivers regarding their road obligations like the entry limits, weight limits, and many more. These are usually circular and uses red colored background.
- No entry for any vehicle signs
- No entry for motor vehicles signs
- No entry for motor vehicles except motorcycles signs
- No entry for trucks signs
- No entry for busses and coaches signs
- No entry for motorcycles signs
- No entry for tractors or slow-moving vehicles signs
- No entry for cycles signs
- No entry for pedestrians signs
- No entry for animal-drawn vehicles signs
- Length limit signs
- Width limit signs
- Height limit signs
- Gross weight limit signs
- Axle weight limit signs
Warning signs are clearly there to warn the drivers of what’s ahead on the road they are taking. These signs should be strictly followed to avoid serious consequences. These are usually triangular in shape with red-colored backgrounds.
- Sharp curve signs
- Hairpin curve signs
- Combined curve signs
- Crossroads signs
- Staggered intersection signs
- Traffic signal signs
- Road narrows both sides signs
- Road narrows one side signs
- Dual carriageway ends signs
- Dual carriageway ahead signs
- Two-way traffic signs
- General Warning signs
- Height restriction signs
- Uneven road signs
- Hump signs
- Drift signs
- Narrow bridge signs
- Loose gravel signs
- Slippery Road signs
- Falling rocks signs
- T-intersections signs
- Y-intersection signs
- Roundabouts signs
- Side road signs
- Crosswinds signs
- Pedestrian Crossing signs
- Dangerous descent signs
- Steep ascent signs
- Quay or riverbank signs
- Low flying aircraft signs
- Children in the road signs
- Pedestrians in the road signs
- Railway crossing with gate or barrier signs
- Railway crossing without gate or barrier signs
- Cyclists in the road signs
- Domestic animals signs
- Wild animals signs
- Agricultural vehicles signs
Guidance signs will be your friend whenever you are looking for the direction of your destinations. These signs will guide you on what road to take whenever you are heading to intersections and roundabouts. These signs usually have arrows with names of places that point in the direction of the corresponding location.
- Map-type advance direction sign – roundabout – Primary roads
- Map-type advance direction sign – roundabout – Other roads
- Map-type advance direction sign – crossroads – Primary roads
- Map-type advance direction sign – crossroads – Other roads
- Map-type advance direction sign – T-intersections – Primary roads
- Map-type advance direction sign – T-intersections – Other roads
- Slack-type advance direction sign – Primary roads
- Slack-type advance direction sign – Other roads
Right of Way
When reaching roundabouts, make sure to reduce your speed and give way to the vehicles that are already inside, be mindful of the other cars coming from your left and right.
We know that car crashes usually happen at junctions. To avoid these from happening to you, make sure to be in the correct position of the road before entering. Make way for the cars that are already inside before you. You must stop and wait for the car ahead of you before you enter to ensure both of your safety.
Legal Driving Age
In Uganda, you must have at least reached the age of 18 and above before driving. This will ensure that you already have a sense of responsibility in your own driving and those driving on the same road you are on. Regarding age limits and how to renew a driving permit in Uganda, you can renew once expired as long as you have a local driver’s license.
Laws on Overtaking
Overtaking should always be on the right, but before overtaking a vehicle, you must always ask yourself if you really need to do that because even though it is allowed at some point, it is still risky for you to take. If you really need to overtake, always make sure that the road ahead of you is clear, the vehicle behind you is not overtaking, there are spaces enough for your car in front of the vehicle you are about to overtake and make sure that the vehicle ahead of you is not overtaking another vehicle.
You also must be mindful before overtaking stopped vehicles. Some of them might be waiting for people to cross a pedestrian lane, and take note that you should never overtake a vehicle when you cannot see far ahead or when there are no overtaking signs.
Uganda used to be a part of the British Empire, and just like British countries, they also drive on the left side of the road. For those who are also in a country that drives on the road’s left side, driving around Uganda can be easy. But, for those who are used to drive on the right side of the road, it can be a bit challenging. You just really have to be mindful and very careful not to forget which side you must be on and always know when to give way to other vehicles.