New driving manual to replace old, colonial one

Sunday August 13 2017

NTSA has since embarked on a refresher-cum-crash course for all instructors at privately owned schools to enable a seamless transition to the new curriculum. FILE PHOTO | NMG

NTSA has since embarked on a refresher-cum-crash course for all instructors at privately owned schools to enable a seamless transition to the new curriculum. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

By JAMES KARIUKI
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Kenya is to discard its current drivers’ training manual in favour of a locally developed one, on which trainees will sit examinations starting October.

The National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) said this will introduce various specialities in handling motorised equipment — from motor cycles, light vehicles to heavy trucks, as well as passenger service vehicles.

“Specialisation will be achieved as each applicant for a driving licence will specialise in his area of interest. A motor cyclist will undergo separate training from a light vehicle driver,” said NTSA in a statement.

The authority said it had re-designed the curriculum with stakeholders’ input sought to try and address the high number of fatalities, maiming and loss of property recorded when accidents occur.

“Traffic crashes claim 3,000 people annually, with 80 per cent of the accidents blamed on human error. It calls for provision of sufficient education and skills to all drivers that behove them to follow rules and regulations as a matter of priority,” it said.

The statement said new handbooks, among them the Highway Code, learners’ handbooks for light and professional drivers, truck drivers and motor cycle riders had been developed for mandatory use at all driving schools.

NTSA said unlike in the past when trainees attended theoretical and practical lessons at local driving schools followed by a one-off test at the local motor vehicle testing unit, they will in future sit for examinations, thereby locking out illiterate drivers.

Among the units to be covered in the new curriculum include vehicle construction and control, self-inspection of vehicles, vehicle control or manoeuvre yard, communication on the road, space management, adverse driving conditions, emergency procedures and customer care.

The statement added that new categories had been introduced among them Motorcycle Rider’s, Light Vehicle, Professional Light Vehicle, Public Service Vehicle, Commercial Motorcycle and the Three Wheeled Vehicle, Truck Drivers, Special Professional drivers (SPDL) as well as the Industrial Construction and Agricultural Machine Operators ( ICA).

NTSA has since embarked on a refresher-cum-crash course for all instructors at privately owned schools to enable a seamless transition to the new curriculum.

“Before a student is issued with a driving licence, one will be required to undergo between 24-160 hours, depending on the category of training,” it says.