President Kenyatta orders NTSA off the roads

President Uhuru Kenyatta during the unveiling of the first batch of his second term cabinet ...
President Uhuru Kenyatta during the unveiling of the first batch of his second term cabinet on Friday, January 5, 2018.PHOTO|PSCU

President Uhuru Kenyatta has ordered the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) off the roads following public outcry over the rampant loss of lives to road accidents.

Mr. Kenyatta directed that all NTSA officers be withdrawn from the roads and the mandate on safety be left to the traffic police officers.

“As the government we are doing all it takes to ensure that the number of accidents reduce and that is why today we have ordered all NTSA officers who have been on the roads to be withdrawn and the traffic duty be left to the police officers,” said Kenyatta.

The president was speaking during the funeral service for three bishops of the African Independent Pentecostal Church of Africa (AIPCA) who died in a grisly accident at Wamumu on the Embu-Nairobi road on December 29, 2017.

Bishops Philip Kubai, Stanley Karuru and Moses Ntoeruri  died on the spot after their vehicle collided head-on with an oncoming car as they were heading to Meru from a church meeting in Nairobi.

President Kenyatta, who was accompanied by his deputy, further called on Kenyans to exercise responsibility on roads, saying road safety is everyone’s responsibility.

“Road safety is not only the government’s responsibility. In excess of 80% of accidents on our roads are being caused by careless driving; people not willing to follow traffic rules and not properly maintaining their vehicles. The government will play its role but every Kenyan must play their part,” said Kenyatta.

The National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) has been under fire over the recent past following the spate of road accidents that claimed over 350 lives in December 2017 alone. A section of Kenyans have been demanding disbandment or restructuring of the Authority, accusing it of failing in its mandate.

NTSA was established in 2012 through parliamentary legislation to deal with road carnage and improve road safety through, among other ways, developing and implementing road safety strategies.

In performance of its functions as stipulated in the NTSA Act, the Authority is supposed to register and license motor vehicles, conduct motor vehicle inspections and certification, regulate public service vehicles, advise the Government on national policy with regard to road transport system, conduct research and audits on road safety as well as educate members of the public on road safety.

NTSA is also supposed to establish systems and procedures for the training, testing and licensing of drivers, formulate and review the curriculum of driving schools as well as co-ordinate the activities of persons and organisations dealing in matters relating to road safety.

It is also the role of NTSA to advise and make recommendations to the Cabinet Secretary on matters relating to road transport and safety.

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Story By Benjamin Muriuki
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