Cabinet approves use of cameras to monitor Nairobi traffic

Nairobi County Traffic Marshall controls traffic along Kenyatta avenue. [Elvis Ogina,Standard]

The Cabinet has given the green light to Nairobi Intelligent Transport system aimed at managing traffic.

The system will involve use of automated cameras on road junctions in Nairobi instead of traffic police officers.

“To address traffic congestion in Nairobi and align with international best practices city management, Cabinet approves Nairobi Intelligent Transport System,” the dispatch from the executive office of the President reads.

The Wednesday dispatch reads in part “phase three of this project is expected to revolutionize traffic management in Kenya, eliminating human interfaces in traffic control.”

This is also aimed at streamlining the payment of penalties on traffic offences.

In their update last year Kenya Urban Roads Authority (Kura) stated that the system will cost about Sh6.5 billion.

Kura further said that the system had been piloted in some city roads intersections including City Mortuary roundabout, Kibera Junction around Uchumi, Yaya Centre, Dennis Pritt – Lenana Road junction and Loitokitok Road junction.

Other junctions were intersections around Kileleshwa Police Station, River-Side junction towards Arboretum and Ngong road junction then Westlands area.

The police will, however, be monitoring traffic flow from the control room situated at the City Cabanas office.

Kura explained that the traffic lights will be monitored by the cameras and send real-time signals to the control room on the situation at the intersections.

Based on traffic flow, the system will direct the traffic lights on intervals of right of way.

Already, Kura has conducted a successful test on 10 junctions in Nairobi that are prone to heavy traffic jam, mostly on Fridays. 

A statement from Kura said that they have already awarded a consultancy contract to a Korean company consortium for the implementation of the first phase of the project.

Under the contract, the consortium will among others guide bid evaluation, negotiation, supervision of engineering design and construction of traffic management system for Sh548 million.

Kura said the system is intelligent in that when it senses that the traffic is growing on one side of the road, it will add more time for traffic lights so that the intersections can be cleared.

At the moment, several traffic lights at the city intersections give about two minutes for vehicles to proceed irrespective of the snarl-up at a given time.

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