Bus Owners To Comply With New Rules


Bus owners have failed in their bid to have new regulations governing night travel in the country overturned by the High Court.

Justice Isaac Lenaola ruled on Tuesday the regulations do not impose a ban on night as claimed by the petitioners.

The judge was making a ruling in one of two applications that sought to suspend new regulations gazetted by the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) on night travel.

“It is almost one month since the regulations were enacted and no such evidence (of attempting to comply with regulations) has been tendered before this court,” said Justice Lenaola.

“If that be so, it means that in fact there is no “directive” specifically banning night travel by public service operators as contended by the applicants and there lies their first hurdle,” observed Justice Lenaola. The petitioners are Sterlingrad Products Limited, Sabrin Bus Services Limited, Kukena Sacco Society limited and Nairobi Western Sacco Classic Limited.

The judge further said that the petitioners, having admitted that regulations are well intentioned and meant to curb the increasing number of accidents, should embrace it and quickly comply with them.

He said he understands the plight of the petitioners who lost an opportunity to cash in on the holiday travel boom, but said public interest overrides their private interest.

“I choose to invoke the public interest as opposed to the short-term private convenience of the applicants,” said Justice Lenaola.

The petitioners claim that existing licences were issued by the Transport Licensing Board, predecessor to NTSA.

But in its response, NTSA had said the existing licence did not automatically authorise operations of public service vehicles at night and clarified that all vehicles are subject to the new regulations on night travel.

Last week, another group of long distance bus owners filed a separate suit but hearing of their suit was put on hold to await Tuesday’s ruling by Justice Lenaola.

The petitioners in the other suit are Mbukinya Bus Services, Crown Bus Service, Kampala Coaches, Traticom Enterprises, Ugwe Bus Services, Trisha Collections, Panther Travels and Neno Courier Services.

Some of the requirements include having two drivers on duty, installation of speed governors and proof of the drivers’ fitness to navigate at night. Operators will pay Sh3,000 for a permit which will be restricted to certain routes, Transport and Infrastructure Cabinet secretary Michael Kamau.





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