Categorized | Latest news

KENYA’S TRAFFIC (AMENDMENT) BILL 2012 AND OTHER WAYS OF MAKING MONEY…

The Traffic (Amendment) Bill 2012 now before Parliament is the latest attempt to bring sanity to our roads

There are some truths that we take to be self-evident and of which we are all in favour, peace, prosperity and being able to turn water into wine being just three of them, but we do not know how to achieve them. Bringing some sort of sanity to Kenya’s roads on which thousands of people are killed and maimed every year is another but again the solution, to date, has been beyond the wit of man.

The Traffic (Amendment) Bill 2012 now before Parliament is the latest attempt to achieve this noble aim (bringing sanity to our roads that is, not turning water into wine or achieving universal peace and prosperity, they will have to wait). In and of itself however, the Bill if passed, is unlikely to achieve that which it sets out to achieve and indeed may make matters worse.

On paper the Bill makes sense up to a point but the practical reality of implementing it will be fraught with problems in a country where pedestrians walk on the road and matatus drive on the pavements.

THOU SHALT NOT DRIVE ON THE PAVEMENT…

Take section 45A for example. No motor vehicle shall be driven on a pavement, a pedestrian walkway or through a petrol station to avoid traffic congestion. Good idea says the Kenya Forum but surely we already have laws and regulations to prohibit treating pavements as just another lane on the road and that hasn’t stopped the daily rush hour mayhem as buses scatter pedestrians in all directions as they plough up the side of stationery lines of traffic in an attempt to beat the jam.

THOU SHALT NOT DRINK AND DRIVE…

Section 44, is likewise a very sensible clause. It stipulates that drivers under the influence of alcohol or drugs will be liable to imprisonment of up to 10 years, or a fine of up to 500,000/-. Again, though, do we not already have in place legislation and regulations that ban drink-driving? Do you know of anyone charged and convicted for that offence? And how are the police going to enforce the law if they do not have breathalyser testing equipment?

As for those road users who are so often the cause of death, destruction and anarchy on our highways and byways, the Public Service Vehicles (PSVs), the Bill pays special attention and quite right so says the Kenya Forum but it will be to no avail.

MATATU MADNESS…

Matatu Madness (14 died)

Section 103a requires every driver and conductor on a PSV to wear a special badge and uniform (hell that should sort them out!), be holders of a certificate of good conduct issued by the relevant authority and to undergo compulsory testing every two years to ensure their competence.

Again it’s all seems sensible and laudable stuff in print but the reality will be drivers and conductors will just bribe officials of ‘the relevant authority’, competent or otherwise, and those estimated one-in-five matatus owner by police officers will any case be able to ply their trade unhindered by the necessity to meet the requirements of the law.

MORE ROAD SIGNS TO IGNORE…

Kenya needs more signs... to ignore

To help us all understand what is required whilst we drive section 70 of the Bill requires the Highway Authority to put up more traffic signs prescribing speed limits on the roads. Not that anyone will take any notice of course, not least the matatu with an 80 km.p.h. sticker on its back that hammers passed you just as you get up to 100 km.p.h. on the Naivasha road.

IF YOU CAN SEE THEM…

At least all drivers should be able to see the new road signs. Section 105A of the Bill requires all licence holders to have an eye test every three years. Fail it and you will not be deemed fit to drive. But a little something, say about 2,000/- should be enough to get myopic road users around that little problem.

OFFICIAL BRIBERY POINTS…

With the new Bill in place though, the police will have their cut out ensuring that we all meet the requirements of the law. To that end section 69A directs the Inspector General of Police to designate places along public roads where the police may mount bribery points, sorry, road blocks.

There will perhaps be a cheer heard arising from motorists and PSV passengers at the news that the hated “administrative unit of the Kenya Police Service known as the Traffic Department is hereby abolished”. From then on, however, section 177 of the Bill entrusts law enforcement on our roads to all law enforcement officers. So that’s one way of spreading the wealth: now they will all be able to demand kickbacks.

AN APOLOGY FROM THE KENYA FORUM…

The Kenya Forum apologises (but not much) for its cynicism but it’s not really the law that needs amending in order to bring some sense to our roads, it is the attitude and behaviour of drivers, pedestrians and policemen that requires alteration and that will take much more than a Bill in Parliament: certainly not this Bill which is a recipe for more bureaucracy and widespread corruption.


Dr Roselyn Akombe Resigns, FULL BBC Interview-18.10.2017

Exposed: Weinsten Sexual Harassment

Archives

Calendar

May 2012
M T W T F S S
« Apr   Jun »
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031  
Visit Us On TwitterVisit Us On Facebook