NTSA unveils real-time vehicle listing system to curb car theft


National Transport and Safety Authority director-general George Njao. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Motor vehicle insurance details will now be fed real-time to the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) in fresh efforts to curb car theft through multiple uses of a single number plate.

NTSA signed a deal with the Insurance Regulatory Authority (IRA) that will see insurers send their motor vehicle insurance policies to Transport Integrated Management System in real-time as well as provide insurance companies with a way of validating vehicle ownership.

Vehicle insurance is compulsory, but currently, each insurer holds its data separately. Once shared, only one policy will be matched with a vehicle and linked to digital stickers easily verifiable by the NTSA.

“The data exchange will play a critical role in supporting enforcement activities to reduce motor vehicle theft and enable easy tracking of unregistered motor vehicles on the road,” said NTSA director-general George Njao.

The agency piloted the integrated system with 14 insurance service providers last year, adding that it proved successful and now wants to bring on board all insurers.

IRA chief executive Godfrey Kiptum said the partnership would halt fraud in cases where vehicle owners insure the same car with multiple companies.

“This agreement will help curb fraud and other vices in the motor vehicle class of insurance business. Ultimately this will quicken the time taken to settle motor vehicle insurance claims since detailed data on the motor vehicles would be readily available,” he said.

The NTSA says the fraudulent production and usage of motor-vehicle number plates is not only a major security threat but also a cause of double or even multiple insurances of vehicles and loss of massive revenues by underwriters and the government through tax evasion.

Last year, Interior secretary Fred Matiang’i called for investigations after it emerged that some NTSA staff had colluded with Kenya Revenue Authority officials and car dealers to clone car number plates.

One of the cars with duplicated plates was used during the dusitD2 terror attack in January last year.