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Economy

NTSA system hitch delays instant traffic fines roll-out

Francis Meja
NTSA director-general Francis Meja. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

A hitch on the mode of payment for instant traffic fines has stalled the introduction of the penalties, more than six months after the court permitted the new charges system.

The National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) Tuesday said it is yet to arrive at a system through which motorists can pay the fines.

The rules, which were initially frozen by the courts in 2016, introduced instant fines ranging from Sh500 to Sh10,000 for offences such as talking on phone while driving or exceeding speed limits.

“We are still working on a system to enable implementation of the payment before we can roll out instant fine on minor traffic offences,” NTSA director-general Francis Meja told the Business Daily.

“As soon as the ‘system’ is developed, tested and verified, we will then start,” he added.

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The authority had earlier outlined the fines payable via mobile phones with offenders receiving a standard receipt from the police.

They were 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.

Minor offences

The High Court last November allowed police officers to impose the instant fines on offences considered minor.

It noted that the offender has the right to plead not guilty after which he or she can be granted instant bail and attend court at a later date for trial.

The judgment means 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 instant fines were gazetted on September 23, 2016, but suspended by court pending the hearing and determination of the case filed by a union.

According to the rules, motorists who exceed the speed limit by between six and 10 kilometres per hour (kph) are fined Sh500.

Exceeding the speed limit by between 11 and 15kph attracts a Sh3,000 fine and Sh10,000 between 16 and 20kph.

Failure to fit passenger vehicles with speed governors will attract a Sh10,000 fine while passengers who fail to fasten sear belts will be charged Sh500.

The rules also provide for a Sh1,000 fine on people who leave a part of their body outside a moving vehicle, a rule that is expected to tame touts who regularly hang on doors of moving vehicles.

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