Government announced stiffer penalties to traffic offenders as it prepares to remember all those who lost their life on road accident on Sunday, 18th of November, 2012. The government has to put all that is required in place to honor the Road Traffic Victims as now most motorists are not familiar with the new Kenya road network especially the complex Thika Supper High Way.
The government enacts two new crucial laws to address challenges hindering the transport industry from being responsive to its needs. These challenges include conflicting laws and weaker penalties for traffic offences.
Reforms in the sector is hoped to translate into enhanced good organization, safety and refurbishment of order. This will strengthen the fight against impunity.
Implementation of the National transport and safety Act is aimed to better management of the transport sector and to attract investors. It is also meant to merge gains that have been achieved so far.
The national transport and safety Authority Act 2012 paves way for creation of National Transport and safety authority (NTSA) to spearhead discharge of policies in the road transport sector.
The functions of NTSA are to control the motor vehicle inspection (MVIU) Transport Licensing Board (TLB) the registrar of motor vehicle (RMV) and the National safety council.
NTSA Board is to be headed by chair person appointed by the president. The authority will be under a Director general Appointed by the Board in consultation with the cabinet secretary.
NTSA will be represented at the county level in accordance with new constitution indulgence.
NTSA will finance its operation through funds accrue from levy paid to National transport Authority and safety funds.
The Traffic amendment Act of 2012 is a disincentive to those breaking traffic laws. It will attract heavy fines, education of road users and safer road safety facilities.
Drivers will be required to renew driving Licenses every three (3) years. Inspector general will be required to gazette designate place to mount security check.
The law also requires the officer commanding police divisions ((OCPD) to be in charge of traffic matters and all police to deal with traffic offences.
A driver for a commercial or for a public services vehicle will be required to undergo physical fitness, eye and testing every three (3) years. Every driver would be subjected to a demerit point system for traffic offences.
Reckless driving attract a jail term of two years of fine of Kshs 300,000.Drunken driving attract a jail term of not less than two years or a fine of Kshs 100,000.If you are caught overlapping you risk a jail term of three years(3) months or a fine of Kshs 30,000.
The government has to invent ways to finance a trillion shillings budget even if to stiffen penalty.
In a statement to the media Hon Amos Kimunya the minister for transport appealed to all stakeholders in the transport sector to support new laws ,this was announced days after the president of the republic of Kenya Mwai Kikbaki flagged the opening of Thika superhighway.
New law as are meant to bring positive gain to road transport and road safety but Matatu owners association are not happy with stiff penalties. Kenyans have to embrace safe road use culture to reduce road carnage.
Positive gains have been realized despite many challenges in the road transport sector .It has continued to play a crucial role in the commuter transport in Kenya.
The ministry has also developed laws to regulate common means of transport like boda boda, use of breathalyzer to check amount of alcohol in the driver’s breath and special speed cameras.
W.D.McNalley invented a breathalyzer 1927 in Chicago, IL corners chemist it found, its way to the Kenya road system though this invention was originally for house wives to test whether their husbands had been drinking Prior letting them in the house.
To reduce traffic congestion within Nairobi and its environs, the ministry of transport encourages the use of high capacity vehicles and commuter trains as mass transport system.
The ministry works hand in hand with key ministries and agencies to automate all transport activities, transport integrated management (TIM) system is to facilitate sharing of transport information among stakeholders.
TIMS will provide reliable and efficient information to Kenyans seeking status of log book, driving license, PSV license and owner of the vehicle online at the touch of mobile phone button.
National curriculum for training, testing and licensing of drivers is in place to ensure qualified motorists only are permitted to have driving license. The Minister is confident, implementation of new laws and stakeholders support will make a better road transport sector.
Kenyans and stakeholders are urged to support the government efforts to improve road safety