, NAIROBI, Kenya, May 17 – The Cabinet has approved proposed amendments to the Traffic Act that are geared towards dealing with traffic offenses which account for 25 percent of accidents in the country.
The amendments will review the registration and licensing of motor vehicles and the issuance of driving licenses. They also seek to deal with the failure of a driver to produce a driving license, driving beyond the stipulated speed limit, driving under the influence of alcohol and causing death from reckless driving.
The traffic amendments will also deal with the issue of unroadworthy vehicles, punishment for hit and run drivers and the fraudulent issuance of motor vehicle documents.
The amendments propose to increase tenfold traffic offences fines. For example, a first conviction on reckless driving will attract a fine of Sh100,000 or imprisonment for two years or both. A second conviction on the same offence will attract a fine of Sh300,000 and/or imprisonment for a year or disqualification from driving for a period of two years.
The proposed amendments should help bring order to public service transportation and general order from all motorists. In this regard, all PSV license holders will undergo a mandatory retesting after every two years.
The Cabinet directed the Minister for Internal Security to stamp out
corruption on the roads and directed that the number of road blocks be
reduced in conformity to EAC rules. There should also be an enforcement
of weigh bridge regulations as agreed under the EAC Protocol.
Steps will also be taken to ensure the security and safety of passengers especially in regard to Probox vehicles and boda bodas.
An integrated transport management system will also be put in place.
Today’s Cabinet Meeting also approved the National Social Protection Policy. The policy proposes measures to protect the most vulnerable members of society through introduction of safety nets. The proposals include: cash transfers, food and price subsidies, school-based feeding programmes, social health insurance, and public works including work for food or work for cash. Also to be included are maternal cases for women who cannot afford to pay hospital bills.
The policy also proposes the introduction of new retirement schemes, pension schemes and health retirement schemes for the most vulnerable members of society. A National Social Protection Committee will be established while there will be county social protection committees in the 47 counties. The scheme will be funded both by the Government and through self-contributions. A Sessional Paper will be presented to Parliament for debate.
Cabinet also approved the National Industrial Training and Attachment Policy. The Policy aims at strengthening the partnership between the public and private sectors to smoothen the national training and attachment programmes.
It proposes the creation of strong linkages between industry and research institutions. The aim is to ensure that industrial training and attachment becomes part of the national work culture.
The Cabinet was also updated on progress being made in the implementation of Vision 2030 flagship projects. The Cabinet reviewed accomplishments and challenges faced in the implementation of the projects.
It was agreed that there was need to fast-track the public-private partnership law in order to ensure successful implementation of large scale projects such as LAPPSET. Cabinet also directed that the growing importance of national mineral wealth be provided for while priority be given in budgeting for Vision 2030 flagship projects. It was also found necessary to enhance the coordination in the design, planning and
implementation of Vision 2030.
In light of the progress made so far, Cabinet will review what needs to be done to achieve the initial economic growth rate of 10 percent.
The Cabinet also approved the designation of a transport corridor along the northern edge of the Nairobi National Park. Sixty acres of land belonging to the park will now form part of the corridor in order to facilitate completion of the Southern road and rail bypass.
The Cabinet approved the acquisition of land of an equivalent value to be annexed for the benefit and adjacent to the park.
The Cabinet Meeting also directed an immediate stop to plans to rezone, zones 3, 4 and 5 in Nairobi and similar rezoning in Mombasa, Nakuru, Kisumu and all major urban areas, until the National Land Commission and other relevant institutions at county level are established and in place.
A Cabinet Committee was established to look into the matter of zoning and report back on the way forward within two weeks. A masterplan for Nairobi and other urban centres will also be established.