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VAS

Case to have NTSA back on the roads filed in court

NATIONAL
By Kamau Muthoni | December 8th 2021

An NTSA official records vehicles on the Keroka -Kisii route on February 19, 2015. [Denish Ochieng, Standard]

Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia and Inspector General of Police have been sued to have NTSA back on the roads.
 
A lobby group has moved to court arguing that National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) officers should be reinstated on all roads to tame rogue drivers during the festive season.
 
According to Road Safety Association of Kenya, there has been a surge of accidents and the numbers might go higher as people travel for festivities.
 
“As it stands, the number of deaths from accidents have proved to be more dangerous than the Covid-19 pandemic,” claims the lobby’s lawyer Jacob Auma.
 
According to him, there are at least 4,000 Kenyans who have perished in road accidents since January.
 
In 2017, President Uhuru Kenyatta announced the immediate withdrawal of the agency's officers from the roads, leaving the enforcement of traffic rules to the police.
 
"From now onwards, NTSA officers will not be on the roads as the responsibility to enforce the traffic regulations lies squarely on the police," Uhuru said.

He added that the responsibility to reduce accidents lay with Kenyans, including drivers and pedestrians obeying all rules, proper maintenance of vehicles, and respect for other road users.

"Everyone has a responsibility to create safer roads. Drivers, passengers, and everyone has a duty to ensure safety."

The Head of State said about 80 per cent of road accidents were as a result of human error, which can be avoided.

"Overtaking carelessly, overloading vehicles, and other ills on the roads have become the major causes of accidents. Let us change our attitude and behaviour while on the road," he said.

In court, the David Kiarie-led association argued that even with the presence of the police, reckless drivers continue claiming lives on Kenyan roads.

In the case where Attorney General Paul Kihara has also been sued, the lobby also argues that the President has no powers to order NTSA out of the road. Court papers read that under the NTSA Act, the agency still has powers to conduct crackdowns and nab traffic offenders.

“For unfounded reasons and out of ill advice, the President made a declaration at the burial of PCEA bishops in Meru that the officers of the third respondent (NTSA) should leave the roads and their roles be taken by the police traffic department,” the papers filed before the High Court say.

“The Presidential announcement amounted to unlawful and irregular amendment of the NTSA Act."

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