Police has launched an automated Express Penalty Scheme (EPS) system for issuing of tickets in a bid to improve efficiency as well as cut on the revenue that government loses in unpaid traffic fines issued to motorists.
The new innovation was launched on Monday by the Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIGP) Maj Gen Sabiiti Muzeyi at the Police headquarters in Naguru.
This innovation follows challenges arising from the manual system including absence of; centralized EPS data system at URA to capture data from the tickets issued, synchronization of data systems of Police and URA to identify tickets that were not paid by offenders.
In the manual process, it was also not possible for clients to get real time data from Police regarding pending tickets. Many vehicle owners had to first visit a Police station to check manually to ascertain whether or not they had outstanding fines.
“This trend resulted into some individuals inheriting accumulated unpaid fines upon purchasing vehicles from previous owners,” Maj Gen Sabiiti said at the launch.
Motorists will use a code and will be able to get information directly to their mobile phone.
The Deputy IGP cited some of the benefits of the digitized system as; Reduction in booklets, and the expenses that come with issuance and disposal of the tickets. The reconciliation of the payments will also be easier.
He also said the new system will ensure effective monitoring for history of offenders with the aim of reducing road carnage and the resulting loss of life and property.
“Because of these challenges, it was common to find some motorists with unpaid tickets totaling to Shs 3m and above. In some cases, fines accruing to these vehicles were more than the economic value of the vehicle,” said the DIGP.
He said the process to further modify the mobile technology will continue.
At least 1,400 traffic officers have been trained to use the system. The Ministry of Finance provided funding to procure the funding for the hardware required to complete the automation process. The logistics provided included 135 computers, 125 printers, 500 mobile phones and printers.
Winstone Katushabe, the Chief Licensing Officer in the Ministry of Works and Transport said the new system will reduce on the slow processes that had characterized the manual system.
“Automation creates operational efficiency, better coordination of government agencies and reconciliation of revenue,” Katushabe told reporters.
He said that by using the manual methods, government had lost about Shs 50bn in outstanding fines.
On the side of URA, Silajji Kanyesigye, the Assistant Commissioner for Large Tax Payers Office, said that drivers, especially those in the countryside have been suffering inconvenience in payment of their tickets. However, this will now be done through mobile payment platforms.
He said this will reduce costs (especially transport) on the part of the offenders.
The Police Director of Traffic and Road Safety, AIGP Dr Steven Kasiima told reporters that the digitization of EPS was long overdue and should have been rolled out as early as 2005, however the Ministry of Finance took long to avail funding.