Why you might be arrested for displaying the ‘wide-load’ sign on your vehicle

Motorists displaying wide-load signs on vehicles that do not meet the stipulated requirements of the law risk a three-month jail term or a fine of Sh10,000.

The National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) has warned pick-up owners against displaying the sign if the vehicles do not match the requirements provided in the constitution.

“Our attention has been drawn to the widespread display of 'wide load' signage on the front and rear of the pick-ups either when load carried does not exceed the overall allowed width, or when not carrying any load contrary to the provisions of the law,” read a statement by the authority.

“Section 3 (a) of the Traffic Act Cap 403, states that “the required maximum overall width of a motor vehicle together with any load projecting beyond the overall width of the vehicle shall not exceed 2.65 metres,” it said.

According to the NTSA, most pick-ups have a width of 1.8 metres and therefore do not require the wide load sign.

According to section 3(a) of the Traffic Act, those found to have broken the law will be required to pay a fine or face jail time.

“Any person who contravenes and fails to comply with any of the provisions of this part shall be guilty of an offense and liable on the first conviction to a fine not exceeding 10,000 Shs, or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three months.”

This warning to motorists comes two weeks after the road regulator extended the expiry period of inspection bookings from March 16 to May 30, 2020 as one of the measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus. “Those whose inspection has expired are required to immediately book through their TIMS accounts and present the booking slips to law enforcement officers when required to,” NTSA said.