National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) proposes tough rules in bid to tame heavy commercial vehicles and prevent road accidents

NTSA Director General Francis Meja addresses a press conference at Times Tower, Nairobi, over car registration. The road safety authority has proposed tough new rules to curb road accidents caused by heavy commercial vehicles.  (PHOTO: BONIFACE OKENDO/ STANDARD)

The road safety authority has proposed tough new rules to curb road accidents caused by heavy commercial vehicles.

The National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) has proposed licensing of commercial vehicles and mandatory rest for truck drivers. If made into law, the proposals will also ensure that cargo in transit is secured.

The proposed safety measures seek to outlaw parking in undesignated areas to prevent accidents caused by dangerous parking.

Truck operators will also have to mark their vehicles with retro-reflective contour markings to help identify the length and width of the vehicle. And no truck driver will be allowed to drive for more than eight hours a day or do more than 500km. The authority proposed at least one hour rest "for each period spent driving continuously for four hours".

The vehicles will also be required to be fitted with speed limiters in line with the country's standard and which must be approved by the authority. And operators will be required to prepare a daily log to account for a driver's on-duty and off-duty times. Truck owners should not allow drivers to resume work if they have not filled the daily log for the previous day.

Yesterday, NTSA Chairman Lee Kinyanjui and Director General Francis Meja presented the proposals to the National Assembly Transport Committee to seek backing when the proposals are brought before the House for debate.

Mr Meja said there were approximately 100,000 heavy commercial vehicles that use the country's highways to transport heavy commodities such as oil, stones and sand.

In 2015, out of approximately 3,000 deaths, 722 were caused by trucks. The same trend is reflected in this year's figures, with 26 per cent of 1,722 fatalities witnessed between January and July 20. Transport Committee Chairman Maina Kamanda said his team would support the regulations.