Driving schools to be deregistered in new move to tame carnage

Interior CS Fred Matiangí at a past function. (File, Standard)

The government plans deregister all driving schools in a bid to curb road carnage, which has spiraled.

The National Transport and Safety Authority has summoned a meeting with all driving schools to deliberate on the way forward.

An inter-agency task force will be established to oversee a fresh registration exercise.

This was after the High Court quashed an earlier proposed curriculum by the authority targeting the schools.

The meeting to take place Thursday will be chaired by Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i.

The driving schools moved to court last year to challenge a proposed curriculum for training and testing of drivers by NTSA.

The court further rejected a public notice issued by NTSA requiring that all driving schools and public service vehicle operators be vetted by an inter-agency task force.

The court ruled in the favour of activist Okiya Omtata who challenged the Traffic (Driving Schools and Instructor) Rules 2014 Act saying that there was no public participation.

“The court quashed the proposed curriculum and the government has to start a fresh,” said Omtata.

Officials now plan to issue new directives to register all the schools afresh so that only qualified institutions are left in business.

 “We have to be firm on driving schools. Our proposal is to deregister all of them and reregister afresh so that we know who is qualified to run a driving school,” said an official at NTSA.

New rules will be read out in the meeting and set the tempo for the exercise.

For instance, to get a new driving license, one will have to fulfil certain conditions, including medical.

Among the issues contained in an earlier notice are that each driving school should own not less than 1.7 acres of land upon which it must develop facilities and have infrastructure of a model highway, a well-equipped ICT teaching aids classroom with computers as well as projectors and a management structure.

An official at Office of the President said they had agreed how to move forward on the issue and this will mark a new beginning.

Driving schools have been partially blamed for some of the accidents being reported in the country, which has prompted the move.

Matiang’i had told NTSA to be firm in its mandates challenged them to conduct an in-depth evaluation of the Authority so as to ensure its fit for purpose and align its operations with the government’s efforts geared towards establishing a safe road transport system.

 “Our statistics on road accidents do not reflect the number of roadworthy vehicles currently registered in our systems. These discrepancies imply that there could be several unroadworthy vehicles operating after passing our inspection tests irregularly.”

The CS said there is no place for laggards in the revamped authority as the government seeks to institutionalize better road safety measures in the country.