11 January 2014

Kenya: Spot Fines Will Reduce Road Accidents - Ole Tito

A senior police officer yesterday suggested that instant spot fines on erring motorists will reduce road accidents and rampant corruption in the traffic department. The Kenya Airports Police Unit and former traffic commandant Joseph ole Tito told the vetting panel that spot fines would reduce corruption because motorists who are unwilling to appear in court will pay their fines and not part with bribes.

"Most drivers do not want to appear in court and installing instant fines will reduce the temptation to pay bribe to the traffic officers. On the spot fines are the best solution to eradicating bribery and consequently reduce accidents," Tito said. The KAPU boss said he wrote a report, which he forwarded to the then commissioner of police recommending instant fines.

He said this will make traffic officers more accountable. Tito said supervision is the greatest challenged with the department because of shortage of manpower. He lamented the shame and ridicule traffic police corruption is exposing the country to. Tito said during his reign at the traffic headquarters, he impressed upon his junior officers to think about the consequences of taking bribes.

He said speed is what is killing Kenyans and speed cameras will supplement other measures in reducing road accidents. "We saw a decline in road accidents with the introduction of speed governors," Tito said. He said he introduced the first three speed cameras but the number has since increased although officers have been using them to extort bribes.

Former North Eastern provincial police boss Charlton Muriithi, who has been sitting at the police headquarters for the last three months, was asked why, as the head of personnel, he accumulated 125 leave days and has never gone on leave.

He said being redeployed from North Eastern to Nairobi, his appointment was rejected by Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero because there was concern of regional imbalance in appointments. Muriithi said he did not understand why he had not been redeployed but could not question his seniors as that would be considered insubordination.

He denied allegations that only officers at police headquarters benefited in training and those who sought redeployment had to part with bribes. He said transfers and training were not his responsibilities. Muriithi said his department only compiled lists and forwarded to the Commissioner of Police who would then effect the transfers. He said he introduced record management systems, integrated data management and mentoring systems while at the directorate of personnel.

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