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Inside gov’t’s new measures to curb road c*****e

Wednesday, April 10th, 2024 11:19 | By
Roads and Transport CS Kipchumba Murkomen
Transport CS Kipchumba Murkomen. PHOTO/Kipchumba Murkomen (@kipmurkomen)/X

The government has announced new measures to curb the increasing rate of road carnage in Kenya.

In a statement, Transport Cabinet Secretary Kipchumba Murkomen said that the increasing cases of road accidents are caused by indiscipline actions such as speeding, dangerous overtaking, drunken driving, overloading, driver fatigue and crossing roads without due care are common causes of road crashes.

"Every road user must be aware of the consequences of their actions. Over and above this, they must take responsibility for their safety and that of others. The Ministry of Roads and Transport, alongside the Ministry of Interior and National Administration, continues to step up efforts through a multi-pronged strategy with special attention to public education and risk-targeted enforcement," he stated.

Among the measures being taken, Murkomen revealed, include evidence-based enforcement targeting risk factors with the support of technology.

This will include speed monitoring of PSVs and commercial vehicles, enforcement on overloading of goods and excess passengers, weeding out PSVs contravening licensed routes, conducting anti-drink driving operations and removal of unlawful lights on motor vehicles.

Other measures include verification of NTSA-issued licences, including driving licences and road service licences, weeding out unroadworthy vehicles and PSV sacco compliance assessment.

Murkomen revealed that the government has also appointed 228 individuals to join County Transport and Safety Committees (CTSCs) and help drive enforcement in 38 counties.

"This week, the National Police Service (NPS) will appoint county traffic enforcement coordinators to complement the work of CTSCs," he added.

The CS further directed that all learning institutions are required to present their vehicles for inspection by May 1, 2024, to assess their mechanical soundness and whether speed limiters installed on them are functional.

Also, school vehicles carrying children are restricted to operate between 6 am and 7 pm.

Maximum road speed limiters

PSV owners will be required to ensure that maximum road speed limiters fitted on PSVs and commercial vehicles are functional, limiting speed, storing data, transmitting speed data every five seconds and onboarded onto the NTSA Intelligent Road Safety Management System ( IRSMS).

All institutions and companies are required to present their vehicles for compliance checks with the relevant speed limiter vendors within 14 days, failing which all NTSA-issued licences will be invalidated.

"All PSVs (7-seater and above) and commercial vehicles with a tare weight of 3,048kg and above will be presented for compliance checks with the relevant speed limiter vendors within 30 days, failing which all NTSA-issued licences will be rendered invalid," Murkomen added.

"The NPS and the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) will heighten night enforcement and random checks along major highways, with a focus on black spots. They should also ensure that stalled vehicles are removed from roads at the cost of owners."

The CS has directed the NTSA to immediately cease issuance of new PSV operator routes, review all existing routes issued to PSV operators and issue new routes only upon vetting of the operators.

Also, issuance of short-term PSV licences has been suspended until reviews of all PSV routes are completed.

"The NPS will impound all vehicles operating without the required licences, and charge the owner and driver in line with the Traffic Act," he added.

Drivers have been directed to adhere to the stipulated eight-hour working shift per the regulations. Saccos whose drivers are involved in accidents and are found to have been on the road longer than the stipulated working hours will have their operator licences and vehicle insurance suspended.

Murkomen has appealed to the Judiciary to mete out the highest possible penalties to traffic offenders, including riders, pedestrians, drivers and passengers.

"The government will direct more resources to the enforcement function in order to address capacity building, acquisition of equipment including enforcement devices and adoption of the latest technology. As these measures are put in place alongside those currently being implemented, the NTSA will continue providing technical support to the NPS and further intensify the Usalama Barabarani programme to support behaviour and attitude change." Murkomen added.

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