Road-block spikes are widely used by law enforcement agencies, especially traffic police, to enforce traffic and road safety rules along the major roads and highways in Uganda.
These spikes strips or tire cutters are used by traffic police to slow down the flow of traffic by compelling motorists to drive at a certain speed on specific road terrain.
They are also used when enforcing traffic laws, especially during the arrest of offenders.
However, the use of these spikes to control traffic along the major roads and highways poses threats to road users whenever they are left unattended.
The road safety threats due to these spikes are caused by negligent traffic police officers manning road-blocks along the roads.
Several mounted road-blocks with spike strips are often left unattended and, moreover, in black spots such as corners, swampy areas, forests, and steep slopes, among others.
Johnson Mugisha, a taxi operator, said most of these road-blocks are common along the Kampala-Mbarara, Kampala-Gulu, and Kampala-Jinja highways, among others. The worst of all is that there are no warning signs like reflectors to alert motorists and other road users.
Mugisha said traffic officers only attend to specific road-blocks at specific times, especially at night, while others are left abandoned and unattended for several days.
Janet Twiine, a social worker in Mbarara City, said criminal elements, especially highway robbers, are taking advantage of the abandoned and unattended road-blocks to frighten the unsuspecting innocent road users.
“There’s a need by the law enforcement agencies, especially the traffic police leadership, to hasten the mechanism of supervising the officers manning road-blocks on the different highways before the vice becomes a menace to road users,” Twiine said.