NTSA sparks row with shutdown of police driving test units

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Rocky Driving school instructor Mary Oyuga Aketch during one of the driving classes on December 4, 2013. JENNIFER MUIRURI (NAIROBI) STORY JOAN

The National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) has shut down the three driver examination facilities in Nairobi under the Kenya Police and moved all driving test operations to its motor vehicle inspection centre in Industrial Area. The move has sparked a war with driving schools.

The NTSA on June 27 issued a letter abolishing the three driver examination facilities, citing shifting of driver testing functions from the National Police Service to the agency in line with the law. Driver testing was a function of the police prior to the setting up of the NTSA in 2012.

The NTSA’s move has however sparked a vicious war with driving schools which now hold that the move is unlawful as crucial stakeholders — members of the public and driving schools — were not consulted on the move or given an opportunity to raise their concerns.

The Kenya Driving Schools Association (KDSA) says NTSA’s Likoni Road facility is too small to accommodate all driving tests, and that it does not have adequate driving sites and facilities to carry out examination of motorists.

The KDSA’s war with the NTSA has been revealed in a High Court petition filed by the former.

The KDSA says in its petition that the move also violates an order issued by Nakuru judge Janet Mulwa, which barred the NTSA from interfering with the operation and curriculum of driving schools.

The NTSA is yet to respond to the fresh suit.

“The proposed new examination centre along Likoni Road, Industrial Area is not an examination centre and it does not have capacity, driving sites or facilities to undertake driver testing as it is a motor vehicle inspection centre,” KDSA chairman John Mwatha says in the suit documents.

“In addition to the proposed examination centre lacking facilities, there will be congestion and it is unfair for the NTSA to have only one examination centre in Nairobi and to abolish the three existing centres. The decision has not been authorised by the Cabinet secretary in charge of transport.”

The NTSA’s decision means the three driving tests in Karen, Jogoo Road and Ruaraka on Thika Road will no longer be in operation.

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