Govt Rolls Out New Traffic Rules & Penalties For Motorists

  • Traffic police officers stop motorist at a checkpoint. On Wednesday, May 13, 2020, NTSA issued a warning to motorists.
    Traffic police officers stop motorists at a checkpoint.
    File
  • President Uhuru Kenyatta assented to the Traffic Amendment Bill 2021, which is set to streamline traffic laws, including penalties for lawbreakers.

    The laws approved on Tuesday, June 21, apply to the licensing of motorists and all operations on the road.

    Here are the new rules and penalties:

    Licencing

    Vehicles awaiting inspection at the NTSA centre.
    Vehicles awaiting inspection at the NTSA centre.

    Every motorist operating in the country is expected to make a formal application for their licence, through a  licensing officer in the prescribed form accompanied by the fee payable and the vehicle registration book.

    "An application for a license under this Part Application for shall be made to a licensing officer in the prescribed form accompanied by the fee payable and the vehicle registration book," it states.

    The new rules stipulate that every vehicle more than four years old from the recorded date of manufacture shall be subjected to inspection by the motor vehicle inspection unit.

    Driving Under Influence

    The new law states that any driver found driving under the influence of a drink or drug to the extent as to be incapable of having proper control of the vehicle, shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine not exceeding one hundred thousand shillings or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or to both.

    Those found guilty of driving under the influence may further face disqualification for a period of twelve months from the date of conviction, for holding or obtaining a license.

    Speed Limit

    According to the law, the driving license of a person who has been convicted for the violation of a speed limit shall be invalidated for a period not less than three years

    However, if a motorist violates the speed limit rule more than three times, one is liable on conviction, to imprisonment for a term of not less than three months, or a fine of not less than twenty thousand shillings, or both.

    Rules for Matatu operators

    The Bill also sought to streamline the Public Service Vehicles (PSV), which plays a key role in the Transport sector.

    According to amended traffic laws, every driver and conductor is expected to wear a special badge and uniform. Both of them will retain their uniforms which are navy blue for drivers and maroon for conductors.

    Drivers and conductors are also expected to undergo compulsory testing after every two years to ascertain their competence.

    Matatu and other PSVs operators are also expected to employ at least one driver and one conductor who shall be the holder of a certificate of good conduct issued by the police.

    The employer is further expected to hire both the driver and conductor after vetting them. They are also expected to pay them monthly without missing or delay.

    "Every conductor or driver of a public service vehicle shall only take up employment as such upon being vetted pursuant to subsection (5) and shall be paid a permanent monthly salary by the owner of the public service vehicle," the law stipulates.

    "A person who contravenes or fails to comply with the provisions of this section commits an offence and shall be liable, upon conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding twelve months, or to a fine of not less than ten thousand shillings, or both," the law prescribes the penalties.

    The new bill further guides the erection of different signs along different Highways as guided by the Ministry of Transport and other relevant authorities.

    Matatu drop-off stage at GPO along Kenyatta Avenue in Nairobi.
    Matatu drop-off stage at GPO along Kenyatta Avenue in Nairobi.
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