Written by Steve Biko Wafula
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For a while now, the social media sphere has been abuzz with the issue of overlapping and social media users even coined the hash tag #twitterbigstick to beam on road users who overlap so as to create awareness.
The Traffic Amendment Bill 2012 was gazetted on 23rd March 2012 to handle issues like overlapping among others, in a bid to create sanity on our Kenyan roads that have seen increased road carnage due to careless and inconsiderate driving.
The issues of number plates upon the sale or transfer of the motor vehicle, the issue of drunken diriving and overlapping, were the key highlights of the amendments to the Traffic Act.
When you sell your vehicle, you should surrender the number plates to the registrar of motor vehicles and when you fail to renew the insurance, remember to surrender the number plates to the registrar otherwise you risk being arrested and fined. Driving on pavement or through a petrol station to avoid traffic is now a criminal offence that will attract a fine of KES 30,000 or 3 months imprisonment or both depending on the severity of the offence.
The issue of speeding is also a crime which will attract a fine of KES 10,000 or 3 months imprisonment or both depending on the severity of the crime. PSV operators should adhere to the uniforms code and the set rules by the former Minister of Transport, the Late Hon. Michuki.
For those who prefer boda boda as a means of transport, motorcycle operators are now under the obligation of the law to carry only one passenger and the passenger and driver must be in reflective vests and helmets, otherwise both risk a fine of KES 10,000 and in default 12 months imprisonment
Other aspects that have been covered by the amendment are life imprisonment for persons convicted of causing death by dangerous driving; this ultimately gives it the same status as murder. Road blocks are to be gazetted prior to being mounted by the police to indicate the times and place. Driving licenses of speed limit violators shall be suspended for not less than 3 years if the person has exceeded speed limit by more than 10 KMPH and if the offence is repeated three times or more, the license is revoked.
In addition, mandatory eye test every three years for licensed drivers and if you fail the test the license is withdrawn. Furthermore all law enforcement officers are now effectively mandated to deal with traffic issues with the abolition of the Traffic Department under the Kenya Police Service Act.
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