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Traffic offenders spared police cells in new rules

Traffic offenders who accept liability will not be locked in cells as they prepare to settle court fines and bails under a fresh directive issued Tuesday by Chief Justice Willy Mutunga.

Dr Mutunga said fines would now be processed in court before the judge or magistrate in efforts aimed at curbing corruption.

Presently, offenders remain in the court cells as their fines and bails get paid by third parties in commercial banks — which are mostly situated outside the courts and the lenders operation hours not timed with judicial proceedings.

This has raised the possibility of offenders spending the night in cells on failure to pay fines or bails within the banking hours.

“Traffic courts shall process the payment of traffic fines in open court,” Dr Mutunga said in a statement last evening.

“No accused persons in traffic cases will be locked up in cells without first being granted time, place and adequate facilities to pay fines and bail.”

The tough fine and bail payment terms have created a fertile ground for corrupt deals with some offenders paying bribes to be released.

The new directive comes amid tough traffic rules that have been introduced over the past three years.

The provisions prescribe heavy fines and penalties for dangerous and careless driving; overloading by public service vehicles and unauthorised or “squad” driving.

Other are obstructive parking, speeding, failure to wear uniform by PSV crew and failure to wear protective gear by motor-cyclists, overlapping, driving on pavements and failure to carry a driving licence.

SOURCE: Business Daily