NTSA’s fines system stalls

The traffic fines system proposed by Kenya’s National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) seems to be unable to get into second gear, as the NTSA recently announced that it still hasn’t concluded at a system through which motorists can pay their fines, according to the Business Daily.

These proposed rules (initially frozen by the courts in 2016) would introduce instant fines ranging from Sh500 to Sh10,000 for offences such as exceeding speed limits or talking on a mobile phone while driving.

NTSA director-general Francis Meja noted that the system is a work in progress.

“We are still working on a system to enable implementation of the payment before we can roll out instant fine on minor traffic offences. As soon as the ‘system’ is developed, tested and verified, we will then start,”.

What the system proposes

According to the proposed rules, if you’re a motorist who exceeds the speed limit by between six and 10 kilometres per hour (kph), you will be fined Sh500. Should you exceed the speed limit by between 11 and 15kph, you’ll find a Sh3,000 fine, while exceeding the speed limit between 16 and 20kph will result in a fine of Sh10,000.

You’ll also have to ensure that you fit passenger vehicles with speed governors, as failure to do so will lead to a Sh10,000 fine. The fines approach is not limited to drivers, as passengers who don’t fasten seat belts will be charged Sh500, while those who leave a part of their body outside a moving vehicle will result in a Sh1,000 fine.

The history of the proposed system

Originally, the instant fines were gazetted on September 23, 2016. However, the court suspended this proposal, pending the hearing and determination of the case filed by a union.

The NTSA had previously outlined the fines payable via mobile phones, with offenders receiving a standard receipt from the police. It was proposed that offenders would be required to fill four similar forms and retain a copy while another would remain in the offender’s file. The other two forms would be issued to the police and NTSA for credibility.

Last November, the High Court allowed police officers to impose instant fines on offences that were considered to be minor. The court notes at the time that offenders had the right to plead not guilty, after which they could be granted instant bail and attend court at a later date for trial.

That judgment was significant, as it could potentially reduce corruption and restore sanity on Kenyan roads – motorists will no longer be arrested, have their vehicles towed to police stations or pay fines in cash.

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