NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 23-A new report by the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions on effectiveness of prosecuting traffic offences reveals that 40 per cent of all criminal cases registered in court in are traffic related.
According to Secretary, Public Prosecutions Dorcas Odour, prosecution of the cases has minimum deterrent effect, while majority of them lack sufficient evidence at initiation and during prosecution.
Speaking to Capital FM News ahead of the report launch, Odour said to de-congest courts and prisons, there’s need for traffic law to be reviewed such that some petty offences can be dealt with by a matatu Sacco and not the police.
“It is common knowledge that traffic incidents are on the increase on Kenyans roads. While traffic collisions happen off the road, the fact that rail traffic has been considerably lower than road traffic, roads remain the theatre of traffic accidents. It is not surprising therefore, that the majority of criminal cases arise from the road traffic accidents” she said.
The study, carried out between July and December last year rates Nairobi highest with number of traffic cases registered at over 13,900 while Tana River recorded the least number at six cases only.
During the period, the average conviction rate of traffic cases stood at 92.5 per cent, where 73 per cent of those convicted pleaded guilty.
“The sheer volume of these events calls for urgent attention, particularly by public prosecutorial authorities, not just nationally but globally. The need to fast track the resolution of any cases which arise from road traffic accidents is self evident,” she asserted.
She said courts and remand prisons can only be decongested “by reviewing what is taken to courts.”
Majority of people held in remand prisons committed petty traffic offences but could not raise the fine.
“Is it in public interest to spend Sh240 per day on such cases?” she asked.