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Government not backing down on new traffic rules

08 April 2014, 17:11 Victor Tinto

Nairobi - Ministry of transport Principal Secretary Nduva Muli has defended Cabinet Secretary Michael Kamau’s bid to enforce the new regulations.


In a response to the case filed by bus owners over the new regulations published in the Kenyan Gazette as legal Notice 23 of 2013, the Principal Secretary argues that stopping the enforcement of the new regulations would be against public interest as the sector would remain unregulated.


According to Ms Muli, the transport Cabinet Secretary’s move to enforce the regulations is under his mandate under the Traffic Act to make the challenged regulations which she insists were made in consultation with relevant stakeholders and were passed in December last year.


“Regulations are in all material respect the same as the ones passed by Mr Kamau last December 17 which were gazetted after consultation with all relevant stakeholders, if court were to stop the regulations the sector would remain unregulated,” said the PS.


Ms Nduvi also alleges that Mr Kamau has powers to ensure that all roads are safe at all times while reducing road carnage.


“If court were to stop legal Notice 23 of 2013, the consequences will be exposure of Kenyans to unsafe and unregulated mode of transport,” Ms Muli said.


The legal Notice 23 of 2013 refers to the new regulations in the transport industry which include the new set measures for compliance with night travel and the removal of luggage carriers from bus roof tops.


The regulations also require long distance passenger service vehicles to subscribe to an outsourced control centre and an accident and emergency mutual aid system as well as taking passenger manifest before the start of each journey.


The regulations are part of the National Transport and Safety Authority that require all PSV operators to have fleet management system capable of recording speed and location of the vehicle at any one time, prohibition of carrying large cargo or commercial cargo besides having mounted carriers on the roof among others.


High Court judge George Odunga last week halted enforcement of regulation 11 of the said Notice until yesterday which affected long distance PSV’s removal of luggage carriers from roof tops.


The judge ordered that the PSV inspection should go on as planned and that the bus luggage careers on bus roofs should not be removed as part of the new rules which he agreed were prematurely imposed.


He had ordered that the transport Cabinet Secretary should respond to the case before a hearing yesterday.


In the same notice it is indicated that the regulations should come into operation as of April 15.


The bus owners’ insist that the regulations were passed illegally and are challenging its enforcement.


The NTSA Board argues that enforcement of the regulations is an important aspect of public road transport and that bus owners are required to comply with the same as a means of enhancing road carnage.

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