Matatu drivers to undergo physical, mental tests every 3 years – NTSA


Matatu drivers to undergo physical, mental tests every 3 years - NTSA
Matatus on Tom Mboya Street. PHOTO | COURTESY

In Summary

  • According to the NTSA Director General, Francis Meja, 3,000 lives are lost annually on roads either due to Infrastructural challenges and disregard of traffic laws and regulations. This further calls for far-reaching reforms to complement the Safe System approach to establishing a safe transport system.
  • The National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) in its responsibility of ensuring safe, reliable and efficient road transport services in Kenya come up with reforms to progressively reduce road fatalities and injuries in the country.

The National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) has issued a raft of measures to mitigate the huge number of lives lost through road accidents.

In the new regulations, all drivers of Public Service Vehicles (PSVs) will be required to undergo new training every three years which will comprise of both physical and mental examinations.

The new road safety reforms will also include installation of new speed governors in PSVs that relay data in real time and that can detect tampering.

Licenses of all driving schools are also set to be revalidated following concerns that a majority of them are offering substandard training.

A new curriculum for training and testing of motor vehicle drivers and motorcycle riders is also set to be introduced.

Issuance of driving licenses is also set to change, with the government now seeking to roll out merit based smart licenses, whereby drivers are rated according to road offences committed.

According to statistics from NTSA, over 3000 lives are lost on Kenyan roads annually due to disregard of traffic laws and regulations or infrastructural challenges.

Other regulations set to be effected to govern the country’s public transport system include:

  • Carrying out road safety audits in liaison with national road agencies to mitigate infrastructural deficiencies and cater to all road users.
  • Establishment of county transport and safety committees to cater for county specific road safety needs
  • Introduction of a revised vehicle body construction standard (KS372-2014) to streamline body structures of these vehicles.
  • Mandatory annual motor vehicle inspection for all classes of vehicles above four years from date of manufacture.
  • Annual vehicle emission testing for Public Service Vehicles and biennially for private vehicles over 5 years old
  • Issuance of instant fines as per the traffic minor offences rules of 2016
  • Introduction of new generation number plates that will restrain counterfeits and duplication.

The measures were announced at the National Public Transport Reforms Conference chaired by Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i.

“We have to accept that we have a problem and the only way to address this is by enforcing the new regulations . There are no two ways about this,” said Matiang’i.

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