The main significance of traffic rules and symbols is for ensuring safety of all road users-motorists, bicyclists, vehicle passengers, the scooter riders, pedestrians and drivers. You will agree that there are numerous challenges, hurdles and risks on the road, which can bring about harm as well as put riders at high risk. Traffic rules and guidelines are applicable to the different road users in the roads, vehicles and the general public. When it comes to driving in Uganda along the Expressway, it is important to follow different safety rules and procedures.
First, there is only one Expressway in Uganda-the Kampala-Entebbe Expressway, the four-lane toll road managed by the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) to connect the International Airport (at Entebbe) to the Capital City (Kampala). The safety rules to be followed have broken down into; how to prepare before driving on the expressway, when joining the Expressway, expressway driving rules, when leaving the expressway and they include;
Before reaching the Expressway
- It is important to plan in advance with much traveling time
If you have plans of using the Kampala-Entebbe Expressway for a long distance journey, as it is with most drivers, we advise our clients to plan their driving route to include where and when to take breaks between driving.
Check-out the prevailing traffic and weather conditions of your safari destination as well as places from Television and Radio along the way and make sure that they are included on your plans.
- Conduct checks on the vehicle
Make sure that the cooling water, fuel, engine oil and tires are on point before undertaking trips through the Expressway to avoid any possible car breakdowns while driving along the toll road. Additionally, make sure that you have a spare tire, first aid kit, maintenance tools and flashlight.
When connecting from an entry road to the Expressway
- Alternate the direction signal in advance
While joining the entry road, drivers are advised to first give a change-of-direction signal in advance as a way of alerting other road users to avoid accidents.
- Accelerate along the Entry road
If it is safe to do so, you can go ahead to accelerate the vehicle along the entry road to join with the expressway traffic at the same speed.
Safety guidelines while driving along the Expressway
- Follow the recommended speed limit
Most accidents along the Expressway happen because of speeding and to keep safe, make sure that you slow down at the entrance and exit points. The recommended speed limit for driving along the Kampala-Entebbe Expressway is 100 kilometers per hour on the Busega-Entebbe Airport extent and 80 kilometers per hour on the Munyonyo stretch.
- Maintain a safe driving distance
Keeping a safe driving distance is one of the important prerequisites for preventing road accidents along the Kampala-Entebbe Expressway, and this distance changes according to road conditions and weather. However, the minimum is 60 meters from other vehicles.
- Always drive in the designated lanes
Even after overtaking a slowly moving vehicle using the passing lane along the Kampala-Entebbe Expressway, it is advisable to return to your original lane without risking other drivers behind or ahead of you.
- Don’t brake suddenly
Even If your vehicle tire loses air while driving along the Expressway, avoid braking immediately and suddenly because it is detrimental to other road users. In such circumstances, strongly grip the steering wheel then release the gas pedal to slowly reduce speed.
Other important safety guidelines to be followed while driving on the Expressway include not using your phone when driving, reducing driving speed during or after bad weather condition, always keeping left, only driving vehicles in good mechanical condition as well as not drinking and driving.
Safety procedures when the vehicle breakdown
- First, pull over and stop along the left side of the road and if possible, exit the Kampala – Entebbe Expressway.
- Report to the Expressway patrolling Officer, especially if it is difficult to take emergency measures or better still report via the Emergency telephone.
- The hazard lights should be turned on to indicate that your vehicle is making a stop, because of a break down or any other reason.
Safety procedures when exiting the Expressway
- Take care and adjust speed
When entering a general road, take care and adjust your speed because you might feel you are driving at 60 kilometers per hour when it is actually 80 kilometers per hour. However, first indicate when you connect to the exit road, followed by reducing speed in the exit road.
- If you are not continuing until the end of the Kampala – Entebbe Expressway, leave by the exit road
- Always pay attention to the warning signs that indicate approach to the exit road to avoid being taken by surprise.