Starting from June 1, 2023, all Public Service Vehicle (PSV) and commercial vehicle drivers in Kenya will be required to undergo a mandatory retest before renewing their driving licenses, according to Transport Cabinet Secretary Kipchumba Murkomen.
The new test will be undertaken on any PSV driver upon the expiry of their license, and will include a mandatory medical fitness examination by a qualified practitioner. The directive is aimed at improving road safety and reducing the number of road accidents in the country.
Additionally, a multi-agency clinic will be established from April 25, 2023, to May 31, 2023, to verify and validate all speed limiters. The clinic will include all stakeholders in the public transport sector, speed limiter vendors, and the National Police Service.
This is part of the government’s efforts to enforce traffic rules and regulations and ensure that all vehicles on the roads comply with the set speed limits.
Murkomen also directed the Kenya National Highways Authority, Kenya Urban Road Authority, and the National Transport and Safety Authority to expedite ongoing road safety audits on all blackspots and ensure safety interventions within the next 30 days.
The audits will include installation of signage, reflectors, and street lighting. Additionally, all infrastructure around schools will be audited and declared school zones, with necessary road furniture installed to ensure the safety of school children within the next 6 months.
In response to recent road accidents involving school-going children, the Transport Cabinet Secretary announced that school transportation will no longer be permitted to operate between 10 pm and 5 am effective immediately.
Murkomen also directed that all school children must be allocated seats with functional seatbelts, which should be worn at all times during transportation. School vans, buses, and matatus that are deemed unroadworthy will be removed from the roads with immediate effect.
The government’s measures have been implemented in response to the increasing number of road accidents in the country, with school-going children being particularly affected.
According to the National Transport and Safety Authority, 1,072 deaths were recorded from road accidents in Kenya between January and March 2023, with motorcycles and private vehicles accounting for the highest number of fatalities.
“My Ministry is working collaboratively with other Government agencies and stakeholders in the transport sector to put in place stringent measures that enhance road safety and save lives.”
The government’s efforts to improve road safety are commendable, and it is hoped that they will lead to a significant reduction in the number of road accidents and fatalities in the country.