Matatu operators welcome new traffic fines - Daily Nation

Matatu operators welcome new traffic fines

Wednesday October 5 2016

Matatu Welfare Association National chairman

Matatu Welfare Association National chairman Dickson Mbugua at a past event. The association has welcomed new traffic fines drafted by Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By PATRICK LANG'AT
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Matatu operators on Wednesday described as a reprieve newly introduced instant fines for minor traffic offences.

Matatu Welfare Association chairman Dickson Mbugua said the new fines were affordable.

He said the previous fines and payment process had bred a culture of corruption.

“The fines are a good thing. We have been crying for a system that allows motorists to pay their fines to the courts,” said Mr Mbugua.

The instant fines were proposed by the National Transport and Safety Authority and gazetted by Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia.

Under the new rules, unqualified drivers will be slapped with a Sh5,000 fine. Owners of public service vehicles who hire such drivers and conductors will pay twice the amount.

Mechanics and car-wash and parking attendants frequently get behind the wheel even when they are not qualified to drive.

Drivers and passengers who put their body parts out of the window will be fined Sh1,000 on the spot.

Touting at bus and matatu stops across the country will attract a maximum fine of Sh3,000, payable on the spot.

Kenyan roads have long been a cash cow for traffic police officers, some of whom openly take bribes as little as Sh50 and let unroadworthy vehicles pass designated roadblocks.

But on the flipside, the new rules will help motorists who want to pay the fines to the government but are forced to give bribes to avoid being dragged from one courtroom to another for a long time.

Mr Mbugua, however, said that the NTSA should set up measures to ensure that there are no revenue leaks in the system.

“Let us have the receipts serialised so that it will not be easy to fake or forge, because the next big assignment for the NTSA is ensuring that the new system is not corrupted,” he said.