Motorists who flout traffic rules to pay up to Sh10,000 on the spot - Daily Nation

Motorists who flout traffic rules to pay up to Sh10,000 on the spot

Tuesday October 4 2016

Vehicles in Kibarani, Mombasa. PHOTO | WACHIRA MWANGI | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Vehicles in Kibarani, Mombasa. PHOTO | WACHIRA MWANGI | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By BRIAN MOSETI
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By PATRICK LANG'AT
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Motorists who flout traffic rules will pay up to Sh10,000 on the spot.

Under new on-the-spot 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, car wash and parking attendants frequently get behind the wheel even when they are not qualified to drive.

Drivers and passengers who put their hands 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.

Driving a tinted public service vehicle will cost a Sh3,000 fine. The government hopes this will bring sanity to the roads, reduce corruption as well as the time taken to punish errant drivers and passengers.

The regulations are drafted by Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia, and are dated September 23. They came to light against the background of outrage sparked by last week’s matatu accident in which four people were killed. The driver of the Ongata Rongai matatu involved in the crash has been charged with reckless driving.

The test of the effectiveness of the new rules will be whether this time round they will be enforced.

IGNORING VIOLATIONS

Traffic law enforcers are notorious for ignoring blatant violations of the law, such as ignoring lights by boda boda riders and matatu drivers.

The instant fines had been drafted by the National Transport and Safety Authority but enforcing them was postponed twice because they had not been gazetted. On Tuesday, the authority was given more officers to enforce traffic rules.

Kenyan roads have long been a cash cow for traffic police who openly take bribes and allow unroadworthy vehicles to drive through designated roadblocks. On some routes, the bribe can be as little as Sh50 a day.

The new rules will help those motorists that want to pay fines but are forced to bribe police officers for fear of being dragged to court. If for instance one exceeds a set speed limit by between six to 10 kilometres a hour, they will be fined Sh500 only. Those who exceed by 11 to 15kph will pay Sh3,000 and Sh10,000 for those exceeding by 16 to 20kph. The same charges apply for breaking the 50kph speed limit in towns.

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