Rul­ing

Court gives green light to in­stant ines on mo­torists

Business Daily (Kenya) - - FRONT PAGE - Gal­gallo Fayo gfayo@ke.na­tion­media.com THE RULES IN­TRO­DUCE IN­STANT FINES RANG­ING FROM SH500 TO SH10, 000 FOR OF­FENCES.

The trans­port reg­u­la­tor is now free to in­tro­duce in­stant fines for mi­nor traf­fic of­fences af­ter the High Court dis­missed a suit seek­ing to block the penal­ties rang­ing from Sh500 to Sh10,000.

Jus­tice John Ma­tivo ruled that the Kenya Na­tional Union of Co-op­er­a­tive Staff failed to prove that the rules guid­ing the in­stant fines are un­rea­son­able and un­jus­ti­fied, not­ing that the fines are meant to save time for the of­fender and jus­tice sys­tem The union sued the Na­tional Trans­port and Safety Author­ity (NTSA) and Trans­port sec­re­tary James Macharia claim­ing the rules judges mo­torists in breach be­fore their trial in court.

The rules in­tro­duced in­stant fines rang­ing from Sh500 to Sh10,000 for of­fences such as talk­ing on the phone while driv- ing or ex­ceed­ing speed lim­its.

“I am afraid, the ex parte ap­pli­cant has not demon­strated un­law­ful­ness, un­rea­son­able­ness or pro­ce­dural im­pro­pri­ety in the en­act­ment of the rules or their il­le­gal­ity or non-con­form­ity with the par­ent statute, the statu­tory in­stru­ments Act or any other leg­is­la­tion or the con­sti­tu­tion,” ruled the judge.

The Judge noted that the of- fender has the right to plead not guilty af­ter which he or she can be granted in­stant bail and at­tend court at a later date for trial.

The judg­ment means mo­torists will also no longer be ar­rested, have their ve­hi­cles towed to po­lice sta­tions or pay fines in cash in fresh ef­forts to re­duce cor­rup­tion and re­store san­ity on Kenyan roads.

The in­stant fines were gazetted on Septem­ber 23, 2016 , but sus­pended by court pend­ing the hear­ing and de­ter­mi­na­tion of the case filed by the union.

Ac­cord­ing to the rules, mo­torists who ex­ceed the speed limit by be­tween six and 10 kilo­me­tres per hour (kph) are fined Sh500.

Ex­ceed­ing the speed limit by be­tween 11 and 15 kph at­tracts a Sh3,000 fine and Sh10,000 be­tween 16 and 20kph.

FILE

RULES Traf­fic on Nairobi-thika high­way.

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