, NAIROBI, Kenya Jan 18 – The National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) has now clarified that Public Service Vehicles (PSV) will be required to adhere to the new body construction standards by May 2023.
In the meantime, the road safety enforcement agency said with effect from next Monday, it will not allow the importation of PSV vehicles that have not conformed to the standard, referred to as KS372:2014, which took effect from May 22, 2017.
“The challenge we have, is that the Standard is there, new vehicles that are coming into the market from the January 22 are complaint to this Standard.”
“But the challenge we have is what we do with the vehicles that are already on the road because obviously it will be an impossibility to remove all of them otherwise there will be a crisis. So we have said because the life span of a bus is six years we will not issue licenses to anyone who will not have complied,” he said.
NTSA Director – General Francis Meja told the National Assembly Transport and Public Works Committee that no PSV will be licensed to operate on the Kenyan roads unless they have satisfied an inspection by Kenya Bureau of Standards at the port.
“The way the construction of our body standards for our PSVs are constructed is very poor. You find even the structure of the bus, the joining of these metals or reinforcements it makes the bus very weak and whenever there is an impact, the wreckage becomes like a piece of paper.
“With this standard we have introduced anti-rolling bars, continuously rolling bars fitted inside the body of the vehicle so that in the event of an accident it becomes very difficult for the canopy of the bus to collapse,” Meja noted.
Body builders will be assessed by organisations accredited by the Kenya Accreditation Service.
The State has already sounded an alarm over vehicle body builders producing substandard bodies of PSVs without following the standards set by KEBS.
According to Meja, the standard is being implemented to ensure the uniformity of all passenger vehicles and as a safety measure on the roads.
The standard further requires that PSVs must adhere to include no luggage racks on the roofs, 400mm passenger seats, safety belts and safety equipment such as fire extinguishers and first aid kits.