Why the Race To Rollout Smart Driving Licences by NTSA Kenya

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Increasing cases of human error, blatant violation of traffic laws by rogue drivers are some of the reasons why The National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) is moving with speed to ensure that the smart driving licenses begin operating.

On Tuesday, three people died on the spot in Kisumu after an errant motorcyclist ferrying two passengers attempted to overtake two vehicles using a wrong lane and ended up under an oncoming truck. Witnesses and the police blamed the accident on the decision by the rider to deliberately flout traffic rules. Barely a few hours after the accident, four people died after another speeding matatu lost control in Nyakach constituency in what authorities also attributed to driver error.

On Thursday, while joining the world in marking the United Nations Global Road Safety Week, NTSA Nyanza regional deputy manager Lazarus Monye told The Standard that the smart driving licences will be a game changer in the fight against road carnage. He said that the introduction of the technology which is expected to be rolled out in about two months’ time will see the Authority nab more suspects.

The new digital driving licence which will contain history of all drivers are embedded with a secure computer chip containing the holder’s information, which is only readable using special electronic gadgets to be owned and managed by NTSA officials. Monye said that once the system takes effect, it will be very difficult for rogue drivers to be on the roads. “The cards will also have points where the more crimes you commit on the road, the more you lose your points until it reaches a point where it is revoked,” said Monye.

He noted that in the recent past, the Authority has stepped up operations and deployed speed guns in the Nyanza region to ensure that sanity is maintained in roads. “In this safety week, our main focus is on speed and we are also giving focus on road users as well as children,” said Monye. As parts of efforts to ensure that sanity is restored in roads, he said, the Authority will initiate a behavioral change program targeting road users.

He also noted that they will be seeking the help of other agencies to address other concerns especially structures that have been erected a long major roads as well as the installation of traffic signs. His concerns comes at a time when locals have continued to erect structures along the Mamboleo blackspot along the Kakamega-Kisumu road oblivious to the dangers they are exposing themselves to. The road is still under construction.

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