Instant fine payments for traffic offenders delayed to end of March

National Transport and Safety Authority director-general Francis Meja. PHOTO | FILE
National Transport and Safety Authority director-general Francis Meja. PHOTO | FILE 

Payment of instant fines by motorists for minor traffic offences will not begin this month as planned, following delay in publishing the proposed rules into law.
The National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) Wednesday said it was yet to prepare a final draft of the fines that will be submitted to the Transport secretary for perusal and gazettement before they take effect.

The NTSA director-general Francis Meja had said last November that the instant fines would come into force in January.

This would see traffic offenders pay fines using mobile money as opposed to going to court as is currently the norm.

“We have experienced delays in compiling the final report after receiving views from the public as required by the Constitution,” Mr Meja told the Business Daily.

“We expect the rules to take effect before March 31 after submitting them to the Transport minister for gazettement,” he added.

The list of violations and their corresponding fines that the NTSA published in November includes speeding, motorcycle riding without protective gear, talking on phone while driving and failure to fasten seat belts.

The highest fine will be Sh10,000. Motorists caught using their phones while driving, a rampant practice on Kenyan roads, will pay Sh2,000. A Sh500 fine will be applicable for exceeding the set speed limit by between one and five kilometres per hour (kph).

Exceeding by between six and 10 kph will attract a Sh3,000 fine while motorists who exceed the limit by between 11 and 15 kph will pay Sh6,000.

The NTSA will levy Sh10,000 on motorists exceeding speed limits by between 16 and 20 kph. The same fines and range by which motorists exceed the 50 kph maximum speed limit on roads in urban towns as indicated by signs will apply.

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.

The NTSA’s past attempts to introduce new measures have hit bumps, including the much-touted cashless fare system for public service vehicles.

If the rules are gazetted, motorists will no longer be arrested, have their vehicles towed to police stations or pay fines in cash, potentially blocking the common avenues traffic police officers and court officials use to collect bribes.

After paying the fines via their mobile phones, offenders will receive a standard receipt from the police.

Additionally, they will be required to fill four similar forms and retain a copy while another will remain in the offender’s file as the other two will be issued to the NTSA and police for credibility.