The government will roll out the new smart driving licences from March as testing has been completed. The licences will revolutionize road safety in Kenya, the National Transport Safety Authority said while making the announcement on Wednesday.
Mt Kenya region manager Cyprian Micheka told the press PSV drivers will be the first to get the permits. ”The new smart card will cost Sh3,000 and will be valid for only three years. Drivers with class A licences will be required to undergo a training before they are issued with the licence or get a new one after expiry of the older one.”
Micheka explained that the new licences will have electronic chips with all details of drivers, much like ATM cards. They will have names, blood type, bio-metric information and details of offences committed.
“If you commit any offence, police officers will swap your card and deduct points from it,” he said at Kerugoya town after sensitising Kukena sacco motorists. Each card will have 100 points and if the driver reaches the threshold of 40 points, the card will automatically cancel the licence.
The driver can only reapply after six months, a regulation that amounts to suspension. After the three years, holders will apply again for new permits. NTSA said the government has already directed that any driver arrested for speeding be suspended for 30 days.
Kukena sacco chairman Jackson Kuria said the new permits will help curb road accidents. “By detailing every offence, a vehicle owner will be able to track records before hiring a driver,” he noted. ”We will be able to know whether the driver is a criminal … the smart driving licence is the best so far”.
The chairman asked the government to lift the night travel ban, noting it has severely affected operations. He said they have incurred heavy losses as they can no longer operate 20 vehicles in a day.
But Kukena secretary Alex Munyi noted more discipline among drivers and conductors. Munyi said motorists have been warned against flouting traffic rules.
”We have made it absolutely clear to our drivers that indiscipline will not be condoned. They must follow the law to the letter to minimise cases of accidents,’ he said. “Negative attitudes towards our customers will not be allowed.”
The Transport ministry earlier said the ban will be lifted in two week following the implementation of strict rules.