NEBBI: Police in Nebbi have launched a campaign to impound unregistered and unlicensed motorcycles. Cyclists who do not wear crush helmets and those without riding permits are also being targeted.

The police say the operation is aimed at ensuring that road safety standards are adhered to so as to reduce road carnage and lawlessness on the road in the district.

The district traffic officer Mr Richard Olili said the campaign which started on Monday this week had so far impounded six motorcycles while those arrested in breach of the safety standards had paid fines.

“Most accidents on the roads are caused by bodabodas and this is because they do not know the safety rules,” he said

He said accident victims also feared to report some of incidences because they were also on the wrong side of the rules on the road.

The Uganda demographic and health survey 2016/2017 indicates that motorcycles account for 67% of road accidents in West Nile leading to severe injuries and deaths, bicycles account for 15%, and cars 10% among others.

Olili noted that use of helmets among bodaboda riders on the road was still low which put lives at risk yet many of them carry more than one on a single motorcycle.

Mr Jerry Tholit, the chairman of the Nebbi district bodaboda’s association welcomed the move by the police saying it was aimed at protecting lives.

“I will sit down with my members and make sure that we embrace helmet usage as a compulsory regulation and continue chasing away those with numberless motorcycles” Tholit said.

But a section of passengers interviewed expressed mixed reactions about the use of the helmets saying they were unhygienic as they are used by many individuals with unknown health backgrounds while those in support said helmets protect life.

Early this year, police in collaboration with Uganda Revenue Authority impounded a number of numberless motorcycles in a move which they said was aimed at reducing lawlessness across the region.

They said the motorcycles which enter freely into Uganda after evading taxes were being used by criminals to cause untold suffering to residents and escape without trace.

The long porous borders between Uganda and its neighbours have further escalated matters as the smugglers use illegal entry points.