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Government orders mandatory retesting for PSV, commercial vehicle drivers

Transport Cabinet Secretary Kipchumba Murkomen has announced a series of measures for all public service vehicle (PSV) and commercial vehicle drivers following a recent increase in road accidents.

According to the CS, all drivers will now be subject to mandatory retesting when their licences expire as part of efforts to tackle the rising number of road accidents.

Murkomen said the ministry is working with other government agencies and stakeholders in the transport sector to implement stringent measures to improve road safety and save lives.

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As part of its efforts, from 1 June 2023, drivers of PSVs and commercial vehicles will undergo various retests to ensure that they are fit to operate their services.

“It will be mandatory for drivers to undergo a driver retest upon renewal of their licences,” he said.

Section 105A (1) of the Traffic Act provides that a PSV or commercial vehicle driver shall, after three years from the date of issue or renewal of the licence, undergo a physical fitness test, including eye and hearing tests, by a qualified medical practitioner.

From 1 July, they will be required to undergo a medical fitness test by a qualified medical practitioner before renewing their licence.

“In addition, all learner drivers will be expected to provide a medical certificate before taking the NTSA driving test,” says Murkomen.

The CS observed that most of the accidents were caused by tyre bursts and brake failure at high speeds, while others were caused by hitting vehicles with inadequate retroreflective striping, which impairs visibility on the road.

To address this, the CS directed the NTSA to form an inter-agency enforcement team bringing together the Anti-Counterfeiting Authority, the Kenya Bureau of Statistics and the National Police Service to weed out distributors and suppliers of substandard products and spare parts.

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The CS also ordered immediate enforcement of anti-roll construction, installation of safety belts and proper seat anchorage on all PSVs.

Long-distance PSVs will be directed to subscribe to an accident and emergency system with immediate effect.

“In addition, vehicles are required to prominently display the details of the subscription for public information and passenger reference.”

The NTSA is required to submit a list of non-compliant PSVs and commercial vehicles to the IRA for assessment of their policies within the next seven days.

In addition, the NTSA is directed to finalise system integrations between it and the insurance sector for real-time data sharing to assist with compliance and enforcement.

The CS also directed that all motor vehicles with expired inspection certificates be presented to the nearest NTSA centre within one month for a reassessment of their roadworthiness.

The black spots will be equipped with cameras, with the first phase to be completed within four months.

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