28 March 2014

Kenya: Cops Prepare for April 1 Traffic Rules

OWNERS of public service vehicles that break the new rules will have their vehicles impounded, Transport Secretary Michael Kamau has warned.

On Wednesday Parliament cleared the way for the implementation of the new rules.

Yesterday Kamau met county commissioners and divisional traffic commanders at KICC to sensitize them on the new rules.

"When it reaches April 1, those who would not have complied with the gazetted regulations had better not bring their vehicles on our roads. There will be no April fools for them. We will make them face the music according to the law," he said.

The new rules demand that a public service vehicle must belong to a Sacco and a Sacco must own at leas 30 serviceable vehicles to be licenced.

Saccos will have to have a driver and conductor for each vehicle, an inspector for each route, an office manager, a qualified mechanic, and an accounts clerk.

"The Sacco must also have in place a documented traffic safety management system or equivalent and customer complaint handling system and the vehicles crews must be employed in compliance with labour laws and regulations in respect to deductions, health and safety of workplace, including being put on insurance and statutory leave days and written contracts of employment," said John Mweya, head of licencing for the National Transport and Safety Authority.

The new rules ban repainting PSVs in a different colour to the logbook.

"In 2003 all public service vehicles were required to be fitted with speed governors with a maximum speed of 80kms per hour. This worked for a while before the entire process fizzled out. We know that speed kills. The digital speed limiters we have gazetted are capable of recording and storing information on the vehicle for 30 days and with the use of a flash disk and a laptop, information on vehicle performance can be obtained and legal action taken against those found to have broken the law," Kamau said.

Kamau said 439 Saccos and companies had so far been vetted and approved but was silent on the uptake of speed governors.

Transport Principal Secretary Nduva Muli said the April 1 deadline would not be extended.

"When enforcing this law, the police will impound those vehicles that have not complied, and summon the entire management of the Sacco under which it operates. This might lead to grounding of the entire fleet operating under that Sacco until all operators comply," the PS said.

The Kenya Country Bus Owners Association dismissed the new directive as unlawful.

"The insistence that we fit the speed governors by the Cabinet Secretary, even after the courts nullified the issue, amounts to impunity," said KCBOA chairman Paul Mburu yesterday.

"We are further aware that the Cabinet Secretary has purported to table regulations in legal notice before the National Assembly. We are aware that standing Order No 210 of the National Assembly clearly states such regulations have to be approved after debate and public participation. We have not been involved," Mburu said.

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