Motorists in Nairobi who commit minor traffic offences such as talking on the phone while driving or exceeding speed limits will from Wednesday pay instant fines of between Sh500 and Sh10,000 after the Transport minister published penalties in the Kenya Gazette.
The motorists will also no longer be arrested, have their vehicles towed to police stations or pay fines in cash in fresh efforts to reduce corruption and restore sanity on Kenyan roads.
The list of minor violations and their corresponding fines published by Transport minister James Macharia includes speeding, motorcycle riding without protective gear, failure to fasten seat belts, pedestrians blocking the free passage of cars, driving on foot paths and travelling with part of body outside a moving vehicle.
Offenders will no longer be required to go to court but will instead pay instant fines using mobile money and get a standard receipt for it.
NTSA director-general Francis Meja said the instant fines scheme will start in Nairobi following the publication of the charges and will be introduced in the rest of the counties next month.
Motorists will pay Sh500 for exceeding the speed limit set for their vehicles by between six and 10 kilometres per hour (kph).
Exceeding the set speed limit by between 11 and 15 kph will attract a Sh3,000 fine while motorists who exceed the limit by between 16 and 20 kph will pay Sh10,000.
Motorists exceeding the speed limit set for their vehicles by between one and five kph will receive a warning.
The new rules have not spared pedestrians who will pay Sh500 for “obstructing free passage of vehicles,” — a rule that is seen to discourage crossing of roads at non-designated places.
Currently, motorists caught breaking traffic rules must face the courts, a process that is seen as time-consuming and encouraging offenders to bribe the police in order to avoid the inconvenience.
Failure to fit passenger vehicles with speed governors will attract a Sh10,000 fine while passengers travelling in a vehicle with seat belts but who fail to fasten them will be charged Sh500.
The NTSA rules also provide for a Sh1,000 fine on people who leave any part of their body outside a moving vehicle, a rule that is expected to tame touts who regularly hang on the doors of public vehicles.
Motorcycle passengers without protective gear will be liable for a fine of Sh1,000, same as bike riders. NTSA yesterday introduced the first batch of 100 police officers who will enforce the new rules and bring sanity on the roads.
“We had a deal with the government in May to give us 300 officers to assist in our enforcement work once we have unveiled (the rules), today is the first batch of 100 policemen,” said Mr Meja.
He noted that the officers will be directly under the authority which will manage their daily work. Those who deny charges will be given a date with the traffic court. After paying the fines via their mobile phones, offenders will receive a standard receipt from the police.