, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 13 – Traffic police in Nairobi are warning motorists to be vigilant when purchasing insurance certificates for their vehicles due to a rising number of fake stickers on sale.
Nairobi Traffic Commandant Patrick Lumumba said the Association of Kenya Insurers (AKI) had alerted them of thousands of motorists who were using fake insurance certificates sold to them by unscrupulous brokers.
He said traffic officers across the city are under firm instructions to scrutinise insurance stickers displayed on vehicles to identify the fake ones.
Once you purchase insurance, you should look at the back of the sticker issued to you where there is a box which when scratched, reveals the word ‘valid.’
“There are people who purchase them knowingly and there are those who were sold the fake ones and they don’t know, but still that is not an excuse, because it is your responsibility as a motorist to countercheck before you purchase them,” he said.
“We will arrest you and charge you, because your vehicle is not insured against any risks, which is an offence punishable by law,” he warned.
Mr Lumumba told journalists that several motorists had been arrested since last week, and charged in court.
“It is an offence to display a fake certificate, so you also face a separate charge of driving an uninsured vehicle because ignorance is not a defense at all,” he warned.
He said traffic police would work jointly with officials from AKI to identify the culprits.
Under the Traffic Act, it is an offence to drive an uninsured vehicle.
“Motorists are aware of this issue but they still break the law with impunity. We will not tolerate that,” warned the traffic police boss.
He is however, blaming the recent increment of insurance premiums to the rise in fake insurance stickers.
“Ultimately, that is one of the main reasons. Motorists are opting for a cheaper option which poses a serious risk to them,” he said.
Motorists are now charged 7.5 percent of the insured sum, up from 4.5 percent charged before March 1 this year.
The new rates followed a shift in the underwriting system from Flat Rate Underwriting to Non-claim Discount Underwriting that is designed to penalise careless drivers while awarding the cautious ones.