Survival guide to Driving in Kampala City
If you plan to drive in or through Kampala, it’s imperative to remember that it’s a war out there and need to be prepared for battle!. Follow these guidelines and live happily there after.
Rules of engagement on Kampala city roads do exist (such as driving on the left), but these are advisory only and are supposed to be ignored. Following those rules can cause accidents, fines, looks of utter perplexity and shrugged shoulders. Follow these and you will live happily there after.
1. Right of Way: If you see any government car with red number plates in your rear-view mirror then you MUST give way immediately. You may be delaying a scam of national importance. However, don’t extend the same courtesy to an ambulance. Nobody is going to die.
2. Traffic Signals: Traffic lights flash red, orange and green just to add some color to our potholed city. Don’t stop your vehicle to stare at a red light as this may cause an accident, keep on driving, you will see another one soon enough … if electricity is on.
3. Zebra Crossing: Zebra crossings in the city if still visible are painted on the road to create employment opportunities and for corporate companies to account for their CSR. Any other purpose that you may have heard of is just a rumor.
4. Airbags: Do not invest in airbags. Kids make the best airbags. Keep them positioned in front of you to absorb the impact during an accident.
5. Accidents: Boda bodas and Taxis are never at fault. In case of an accident, you are at fault. So even if you see a boda boda or Taxi going down the wrong way, please give way and do not enter into a war of words with them as you will NEVER win.
6. Indicators: Vehicles behind you come to an immediate halt when you decide to suddenly change lanes, dodge a pothole or make a split u-turn. If your indicators work, don’t bother turning them on, sudden use of the indicators will confuse other road users.
7. Honking & Insults: You must keep pressing the horn at all times. While indicators are optional, honking and keeping up to date with the latest insults is mandatory at all times.
8. Pocket Change: Every driver must carry small notes or coins in their wallet. Corrupt traffic policemen will not be responsible if you don’t get your change after bribing them with big notes.
9. Parking: Busy roads and sidewalks double up as parking zones at all times. You can park your vehicle on the side of the road, middle of the road or even diagonally. A No Parking sign is just an adverting board and also a reservation sign for your vehicle; please park there the moment you spot one.
10. Drive Driving: Drunk driving is reserved only for university students. Mainly because they spend all their money on booze and have nothing to give to the traffic cop who pulls them over during Kawunyemu operations.