Motorists set to pay road tax with smart number plate

Motorists will pay an annual road tax if regulations that will guide new generation high-tech number plates are adopted.

The National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) regulations require motorists to show proof of highway vignettes through stickers placed on car windscreens.

Highway vignettes are road charges paid over a period of time, normally 12 months. The move departs from toll rates for use of certain motor ways.

The high-tech number plates, which will be installed with micro-chips, are expected to be in use within 18 months.

READ: New number plates and driving licences set for next year

They will store data on the car’s chassis number, the owner’s personal identification number, contacts and past traffic offences.

The plates can be scanned by traffic police using chip-readers from a distance of up to 300 feet, helping curb motor theft and reckless driving.

“A sticker placed on the windscreen (will) bear discrete features of the motor vehicle registration and ownership for technical inspection, tax and insurance validation, highway vignettes, vehicle registration and other compliance and validation requirements,” reads part of the regulations.

The proposed law adds that the plates will have Radio Frequency Identity (RFID) — a wireless transfer of data for automatic identification and tracking.

Motorists pay road levy

The road tax comes five years after the government abolished the annual road licence fee in preference of the fuel tax.

Currently, motorists pay a road levy which is billed on fuel that they buy a petrol stations. The fuel tax was introduced in 1993.

Kenya plans to reintroduce toll charges on major roads. The high-tech plates will cost Sh4,000 while motorcycle operators will be charged Sh2,500.

The Business Daily did not get comments from NTSA’s chairman Lee Kinyanjui and the director-general Francis Meja by press time.