The government has deregistered 51 percent of driving schools that failed the recent revalidation exercise that sought to establish their levels of compliance with the provisions and requirements for driving school registration.
Speaking during the launch of the National Transport Reforms Conference at NTSA headquarters in Nairobi Wednesday, Interior Cabinet Secretary, Dr. Fred Matiang’i, added that the government has set about implementing far-reaching reforms in the transport sector as outlined in the National Road Safety Action Plan 2019–2023.
The Cabinet Secretary divulged that a defective driver training, testing and licensing system has been one of the major causal factors of road accidents, adding that this has been aggravated by the recent proliferation of backstreet driving schools in the country.
However, he warned that nothing will be left to chance henceforth and that the government will remain non-compromising on the standards and quality of driver training.
“This is not only a matter of government policy but also a mission anchored on dictates of conscience. So far, our short-term interventions have yielded a 50 percent reduction in road fatalities, which means we are on the right course,” he said, adding that no more finger-pointing among stakeholders while Kenyans continue losing their lives on the roads.
Another major change expected is the establishment of an integrated speed governors system featuring a command centre for monitoring and reporting violation of speed guidelines in real time.
Dr. Matiangi said: “We will now leverage on technology to expedite the realization of a future free of deaths and serious injuries on our roads. We can easily identify violators from the command centre.”
A new Standard for Road Speed Limiters was recently put, which will ensure the use of only tamper proof speed limiters, which will have the capacity to record and transmit data to an online platform from where a speed limit violator’s particulars will be obtained.
The Cabinet Secretary also directed that with effect from 1st November 2019, no PSV or Commercial Service driver’s license will be renewed without the holder undergoing a mandatory retraining and retesting process in accordance with the newly prescribed modules.
This will feature a physical fitness test, including an eye and hearing test by a qualified medical practitioner.
NTSA has already developed a Curriculum for Training and Testing of Drivers and Instructors, and Dr. Matiang’i appealed for legislative support from the National Assembly towards operationalization of the new module.
Other reforms proposed include vehicle designs and structure, streamlining of the boda boda subsector, and an overhaul of the country’s weighbridge housekeeping regime.