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New traffic laws take effect next week: Kamau

28 March 2014, 08:00 Victor Tinto

Nairobi - The new traffic laws will be implemented next week by the government, transport secretary Michael Kamau has insisted.

The new laws have been described as draconian by PSV operators in the country, who say they are not achievable and too stringent.

On the other hand, the government says that it is necessary to have them in place to save lives on the country's roads and that it has the statistics to prove it.

" We are implementing it starting next week no matter the circumstances, Kamau said during a meeting between law enforcers and traffic police in Nairobi Thursday.

" It is vital they are implemented and because we as a government are sure this is the right step, starting next week, they will be in force.

In the new rules, all PSVs must be part of a sacco that has not less than 30 vehicles.

Added to that they must take on a new state of the art speed governors that can store data for up-to six months, all at the PSVs cost.

There is also the issue of a cashless payment system for commuters which will take effect from July and will see no PSV allowed to transact in cash.

Further, all PSVs that travel at night will be forced to have two drivers who will drive in shifts, again at the cost of the operators.

Those contravening the laws will receive fines of between KES 50,000 and 100,000.

" They will have to comply starting Tuesday April 1, 2014. It is now or never and we are not looking back, Kamau said.

But according to PSV operators, they will not heed to the new laws because they are overboard and too expensive. 

" The issue is that the laws are stringent and even though they are in good faith, the timeline for preparation has been too small, chairman of one of the largest sacco's in the country who did not want to be named said. 

Schools close for holidays next week and considering the problems that might be there in the implementation, there is likely to be a strike by the operators. 

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