On Thursday 29 November, 2012, most Nairobi city dwellers woke up to face another day only to be confronted by the harsh reality of the public service transport system going rogue.
The Kenyan public service vehicles popularly known as matatus were demonstrating against the latest Traffic Amendment 2012 , which has introduced stiff penalties for both first time and repeat offenders and affects Kenyan motorists across the board.
A couple of bloggers have given a summary of the amended laws and penalties that were approved by the President (Mwai Kibaki) in early November.
Word of Mouth  blog posted:
Here is a summary of the new traffic rules caused by the Amendment of section 12 of Cap 403 of the laws of Kenya. The president signed the amendments yesterday meaning they are in operation from today.
- Number plates: When you sell your vehicle, you should surrender the number plates to the registrar of motor vehicles. Remember to surrender the number plates to the registrar otherwise you risk being arrested and fined
- Overlapping, undertaking, obstruction, driving on pavement or through a petrol station to avoid traffic: You risk a fine of Kshs 100,000 -300,000 or one year in jail or BOTH
- Over speeding: When you over speed, you risk a fine of Kshs 10,000 or 3 months imprisonment or both
- Careless Driving: Penalty of Ksh 500,000 or 10 years imprisonment or both
- Careless driving causing death: Life Imprisonment. This is being treated like murder.
- Driving under influence of alcohol: A fine of Ksh 500, 000 or ten years in jail or both.
- PSV Operators: Should adhere to the uniforms and badges rules
- Motor Cycle operators: ONE PASSENGER only and the passenger and rider must be in reflective vests and helmets – otherwise you risk a fine of Kshs 10,000 and in default 12 months imprisonment.
Autoportal , another blogger focusing on motoring, had a few sections of the Law too:
➢ The licence of a person found guilty of exceeding speed limits would be invalid for not less than 3 years if the limit is exceeded by up to 10 KPH or if the offense is repeated more than three times.
➢ The Inspector General of Police would designate areas where Police will be required to erect roadblocks.
➢ There will be road signs showing the prescribed speed limits.
➢ PSV drivers and conductors would be required to wear badges and uniforms. In addition, the PSV drivers would be required to do a compulsory competence test every two years.
➢ Motorcycles would have to be insured against third party risks and the riders would be compelled to wear helmets and reflector jackets. Penalties for contravening this law would attract a KES 10 000 fine or a one-year jail term.
What do you think will be the impact of these new laws ?