The National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) is in the early stages of planning to incorporate private motor vehicles into its annual inspection exercise, aiming to bolster road safety. The draft proposal includes a regulatory framework for vehicle inspection, with ongoing discussions about engaging the private sector to enhance capacity.
NTSA Director General George Njau, who appeared before the Senate Transport Committee on Tuesday said the authority currently operates 17 inspection centers nationwide.
“The issue of fees remains unsettled and is still under discussion,” Njau told the committee on the charges that will be imposed on private vehicles inspection.
Senator Edwin Sifuna expressed concerns about potential financial motives behind the move, prompting Njau to clarify that safety and public input were the driving forces. Njau highlighted a prior public participation exercise conducted across all regions.
“What is the justification for that fee? Are you looking for money, or are you looking for safety?”
However, Njau rebutted the allegations, stating that the decision to conduct inspections is firmly grounded on safety and public participation.
“When we initiated this process, we conducted a public participation exercise earlier in the year across all regions,” he explained.
Sifuna criticized the consideration of private sector involvement, fearing increased costs for Kenyans. He urged NTSA to stick to government-led inspections, particularly for commercial vehicles, emphasizing the financial strain on citizens.
“If you do not have the capacity yourselves to conduct inspections, do not involve the private sector. We already experience delays in commercial vehicle inspections; why insist on doing something beyond your capacity?” he posed.
“Kenyans cannot afford any more levies; they lack the capacity to bear additional charges. Inspection should remain a government function, particularly for commercial vehicles,” Sifuna emphasized.
The Director General reiterated that the proposed road safety measures are still in the draft stages, and discussions are ongoing on how to proceed.
“We can build on it to ensure we address all issues that directly impact Kenyans,” he said.
The Director General reiterated that the proposed road safety measures are in the draft stages, with ongoing discussions for comprehensive solutions. As part of their plan, NTSA aims to distribute free handbooks to both private and commercial vehicle owners to address information gaps on road safety and traffic codes.
“We will provide handbooks to the public to refresh their knowledge on road safety, the traffic code, as there is sometimes an information gap on how to interpret and use available information,” Njau said.