On our way back from town today, we had our first brush with the Ugandan police force. One of the big hazards of driving in Uganda is being stopped by the police and being fined for various 'offences'. Alan allegedly took an illegal U-turn and this stern copper told him to pull over so he could write out a ticket for the offence. Conveniently thinking he was being waved on by another policeman, Alan saw the opportunity to drive on and leave the policeman on foot in his wake. Further down the road, celebrating our narrow escape, we were surprised to see the policeman pulling up alongside on the back of a taxi motorbike, much to the girls' horror, waving angrily to pull over again.
After a discussion over the finer points of Ugandan road law, with some vociferous contributions from Alison in the backseat, it was decided to revisit the scene of the crime to prove that there were no road signs about illegal U-turns and to show how we were not the only law-breakers there. We gave the policeman a lift back in our car, offering some cold pizza on the way complemented by Zoe turning on the waterworks in sympathy for daddy going to jail! This may have softened him a little, but he was still adamant that we pay the fine or go to court.
Alison got out and took some photos of the crime scene and Alan politely enquired if the policeman was going to arrest all the cars breaking this law, whilst all 3 girls continued to sob in the back! Sensing that we were not going down without a fight, the policeman finally backed down and asked us not to do it again, to which we gratefully agreed. We wheelspun away, enormously relieved not to be spending the night behind bars!