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Traffic Laws in Uganda

Navigate Uganda’s roads safely: Your guide to Traffic Laws in Uganda. Are you a first-time driver on a Ugandan road, or are you planning a road trip and intend to rent a car to self-drive? Whatever it may be, driving is one of the most risky things you will ever do. Drivers put themselves and others at risk every time they sit at the steering wheel. While driving on an African road can prove to be challenging, a Ugandan road is no different. The risks on the road increase when drivers fail to follow traffic laws, and the most common offenses include drinking and driving, overspeeding, and texting while driving, among others.


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

  1. Do not drive without a driver’s license

A driver’s license is permission from the traffic authorities to allow you to drive around the country. You are required to have a permit every time you are driving, whether on a sightseeing safari, a city ride, or as a driver for new driving jobs. Driving without a license is illegal in Uganda and punishable in accordance with the traffic laws. You can visit the Uganda Driver Licensing System, their website, or any local Face Technologies office to inquire about how to renew your driving permit or get one if you still don’t have one.

  1. Do not text and drive.

Texting while driving is illegal in the country. So always keep your phone away from you while driving. This wrong practice is one of the most rampant causes of road accidents, causing injuries or even death to the victims involved. When one is caught using a phone while driving, they will pay a fine of 2,000,000 Ugandan Shilling, or be imprisoned for up to one year, or both.

  1. Have third-party insurance.

Having third-party insurance is necessary in Uganda. Some roads, especially outside the city or upcountry, are still being developed, so having third-party insurance will be very helpful for your trip in case you need it. It is better to be prepared than to be sorry.

  1. Wear seat belts at all times.

It is mandatory to always wear seatbelts whenever you are hitting the roads in Uganda. Seatbelt rules are not mandatory for no reason. So your safety should always be at the top of your mind, and wearing them will make your road trip throughout the country a safer and more comfortable one. Always ensure safety on the road to avoid accidents, and wearing a seatbelt is a must, just like in any country.

  1. Do not drink and drive

Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is illegal and will result in a severe penalty in Uganda. You are required to be responsible for drinking alcohol, especially if you drive a car. The accepted blood alcohol level is only 0.08%. Having a blood test result that exceeds the accepted blood alcohol level can cost you 6,000,000 Ugandan shillings or get you imprisoned for up to three years.

  1. Drive within the speed limit

It is important to consider speed limits while driving to avoid penalties and accidents. Different roads 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).

As mentioned before, the penalty for overspeeding will cost you UGX 300,000 to UGX 1,200,000, or imprisonment of between six months and two years. Be cautious every time you are driving not to violate this law. It will save you from a lot of inconveniences and penalties, so make sure to be a responsible driver.

  1. Do not park in the road

Some roads are really narrow, so it is important that road users avoid blocking traffic by either driving recklessly, packing in the road, or where one is not allowed to park.