NTSA arrests 1,000 drunk drivers after change of tack

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The National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) has so far arrested over 1,000 drunk drivers since April when a court recommended that it changes how offenders are prosecuted.

The authority’s director general Francis Meja on Monday wrote that they have been conducting swoops on drunk drivers, with offenders fined between Sh20,000 and Sh100,000. In April, a court advised that drink driving cases be prosecuted under Section 44 (1) of the Traffic Act as opposed to the breathalyser rules.

CASH BAIL REFUNDED

Offenders who had been arrested before the ruling were charged in court, freed and even had money they had paid as cash bail refunded to them.

This led to a celebration among motorists and confusion over whether offenders would still be fined. In his opinion write up, Mr Meja said all offenders since then have been charged under the Traffic Act and have been fined accordingly.

“The case was heard and determined, but the ruling has been misinterpreted over time. Simply put, the ruling did not prevent the authority from conducting anti-drink driving operations or make illegal the use of the breathalyser gadget contrary to reports,” he wrote.

CHANGE IN BEHAVIOUR

He added that drunk drivers cause most of the accidents on the roads, though there has been a significant change in behaviour as revelers opt for taxis.

“Recently, the authority has with the support of donors, acquired modern breathalysers in an effort to boost its capacity. The gadget will enable the authority to capture more information about the driver,” wrote Meja.

The Authority is set to roll out the Smart Driving License to replace the paper driving licenses.

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