BY MARTIN MUTUA
Motorists be warned: You might soon have your licence suspended for three years or cool your heels in jail for the rest of your life.
The Trafﬁ c (Amendment) Bill 2012 raised penalties for breaking trafﬁc rules and causing accidents in an effort to restore sanity on KenyaÂfs roads, do away with the police Trafﬁc Department, and stem the bloodletting on the highways.
The proposed law sends a warning to those found driving under the inﬂ uence of alcohol and Members of the public help a motorcyclist who was knocked down by a vehicle along Ngong Road. [PHOTO: MBUGUA KIBERA/STANDARD]
Members of the public help a motorcyclist who was knocked down by a vehicle along Ngong Road. [PHOTO: MBUGUA KIBERA/STANDARD]
therefore incapable of controlling their vehicles, that they risk being jailed for upto 10 years or ﬁned Sh1 million or both. Traffic police officers would be done away with and instead enforcing traffic rules would become the responsibility of the entire force. The Bill proposes that drivers who violate speed limits be jailed for three months or fined Sh20,000 or both.
Those fond of overlapping by driving through the pavements, and petrol stations to avoid traffic jams are in for a shock, as they could be fined Sh30,000 or be jailed for three months or both. It also seeks to have matatu drivers and touts permanently employed, and to hold certificates of good conduct.
If passed by Parliament, the Bill, which has already been published, would put Kenya alongside the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as one of the counries with the harshest traffic laws in the world.
In the UAE Gulf state of Dubai, where cameras are installed on most roads, highway codes are strictly observed. Drivers who cause accidents pay heavy fines and jail terms, while foreigners are deported.
The proposed Bill sponsored by Gem MP and Government Chief Whip Jakoyo Midiwo further proposes that the new laws be implemented together with the famous ÂeMichuki RulesÂf for public service vehicles that briefly reduced carnage on roads.
This means every driver and conductor of a public service vehicle shall be required by law to wear a special badge and uniform prescribed by the Registrar of Motor Vehicles. In the case of a driver, it shall be navy blue, while conductors will wear maroon. The special badges will be supplied by the Registrar of Motor Vehicles at a fee.
Matatu drivers will also be required to undergo a compulsory testing after every two years to ascertain their competence. Those who do not meet the requirements could find themselves behind bars for a year or fined Sh10,000 or both.
To stop the sale of stolen vehicles, owners will now have to hand over the number plates of their cars to the Kenya Revenue Authority before completing the sale. Number plates for vehicles whose insurance lapses for over 30 days will also have to be given over to KRA, which the Bill now vests with ownership of the same.
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