INSTANT FINES BY POLICE

POLICE SANCTIONED TO IMPOSE FINES ON MINOR TRAFFIC OFFENDERS.

In a recent judgment delivered by Justice John Mativo-J. in Nairobi Miscellaneous Application 485 0f 2016, the high court has approved the mandate of traffic police to levy instance fines on motorists on account of minor traffic offences pursuant to the Traffic (Minor Offences) Rules,2016. In the court’s finding, the Rules were necessitated by the need to curb corruption in the Traffic Department and also the need to expedite traffic cases and to bring sanity in our roads and are therefore they are aimed at achieving a legitimate purpose and public good.

Background of legislation of the rules?

The rules were published by the cabinet secretary vide Legal Notice no. 161 on 23rd September,2016. Section 117 of the Traffic Act of the Laws of Kenya donates powers to the Cabinet Secretary for transport to come up with a schedule of minor offences and the maximum penalty to be applied for offences in the category.

What are considered to be minor offences?

The Act does not categorically define what is considered to be minor offence(s). Nevertheless, rule 2 of the Traffic (Minor Offences) Rules narrows the scope of offences to cover only the offenses specifically captured under the first schedule of the Rules. The traffic minor offences include;

General traffic minor offences

(1) Driving without;
a. identification plates, (Penalty -Kshs.10,000 Maximum)
b. a valid motor vehicle inspection certificate, (Penalty -Kshs.10,000 Maximum)
c. a valid driving license endorsement in respect of the class of vehicle. (Penalty -Kshs.3,000 Maximum)
(2) Failure to;
a. renew driving license, (Penalty -Kshs.1,000 Maximum)
b. to carry or produce a driving license on demand, (Penalty -Kshs.1,000 Maximum)
c. to obey directions of police officer on duty, (Penalty -Kshs.3,000 Maximum)
d. to heed to traffic signs, (Penalty -Kshs.3,000 Maximum)
e. to stop when required to do so by a police officer on duty, (Penalty -Kshs.5,000 Maximum)
f. to display lifesavers when vehicle remains on the road in an obstructing position, (Penalty -Kshs.3,000 Maximum)
g. by owner of vehicle to fix proper seat belts, (Penalty -Kshs.10,000 Maximum for each seat without seat belt)
h. of passenger not wear seat belt in a moving vehicle, (Penalty -Kshs.500 Maximum)
i. to carry lifesavers (Penalty -Kshs.2,000 Maximum)
(3) Others general offences include;
a. exceeding speed limit prescribed the class of the vehicle, (Penalty - exceeding by; 1-5 Kph, just a warning, 6-10 Kph Kshs.500, 11-15 Kph Kshs.3,000, 16-120 Kph Kshs.10,00-Maximum)
b. exceeding speed limit of 50 Km/Hr prescribed by a traffic sign, (Penalty - exceeding by; 1-5 Kph, just a warning, 6-10 Kph Kshs.500, 11-15 Kph Kshs.3,000, 16-120 Kph Kshs.10,00-Maximum)
c. driving on or through a pavement/ a pedestrian walkway, (Penalty -Kshs.5,000 Maximum)
d. driving on a footpath, (Penalty -Kshs.5,000 Maximum)
e. causing obstruction on the road, (Penalty -Kshs.10,000 Maximum)
f. learner failing to display the L-Plates, (Penalty -Kshs.2,000 Maximum)
g. using a mobile phone while driving (Penalty -Kshs.500 Maximum)
h. travelling with part of the body outside the vehicle. (Penalty -Kshs.,1000 Maximum)

Traffic minor offences specially relating to PSV vehicles

1. Failure to; a. to refund fare for incomplete trips, (Penalty -Kshs.3,000 Maximum)
b. of a PSV driver or conductor to wear badge and uniform, (Penalty -Kshs.2,000 Maximum)
c. of conductor of a PSV vehicle to maintain seat belts, (Penalty -Kshs.500 Maximum)
d. to fit speed governors in PSV and commercial vehicles, (Penalty -Kshs.10,000 Maximum)
e. to carry fire extinguisher and kit in PSV vehicle. (Penalty -Kshs.2,000 Maximum)
f. driving a PSV vehicle while unqualified, (Penalty -Kshs.5,000 Maximum)
g. person not being designated PSV driver, drives a PSV, (Penalty -Kshs.3,000 Maximum)
h. driver of PSV letting unauthorized person to drive (Penalty-Kshs.3,000 Maximum)
i. operating a PSV with tinted windows/windscreen, (Penalty -Kshs.3,000 Maximum)
j. unlicensed person acting as driver or conductor of a PSV, (Penalty -Kshs.5,000 Maximum)
k. owner of PSV employing unlicensed person as driver or conductor, (Penalty - Kshs.10,000 Maximum)
l. touting, (Penalty -Kshs.3,000 Maximum)
m. operating a PSV with tinted windows/windscreen,
n. a driver of a motor omnibus picking or dropping passengers at nondesignated places (Penalty -Kshs.3,000 Maximum)

Traffic minor offences specially relating to motorcyclists

1. Motorcyclists
a. carrying more than one billion passenger (Penalty -Kshs.1,000 Maximum)
b. riding without protective gear, (Penalty -Kshs.1,000 Maximum)

Traffic minor offences specially relating to pedestrians/passengers

1. Willfully obstructing free passage of vehicles (Penalty -Kshs. 500 Maximum)
2. a passenger alighting or boarding omnibus at non-designated places. (Penalty -Kshs.1,000 Maximum)
3. Motorcycle passenger riding without protective gear, (Penalty -Kshs.1,000 Maximum)

THE PENATIES/FINES

The traffic minor offenses attract a penalty of the respective maximum amounts provided under the first schedule of the Rules for each offence. The fines range from K.Shs.500 to K.Shs.10,000.00 maximum depending on the specific offence.

The procedure

Section 117 of the Traffic Act and rule 4 the Traffic (Minor Offences) Rules,2016 of provides for the use of a police notification of traffic offence form which should take the format provided for under the second schedule of the Rules. The police notification of traffic offence form basically captures the particulars of;

  • the person involved,
  • denial or admission of charges, ,
  • payment details, ,
  • a section for sentencing to be used for courts only. ,

Ideally, instant fine is applied by the police in cases where the alleged offender admits the charges. If charges are denied, the case is referred to court for trial.


Post By Author Mw-Advocates, on 2018-09-17 10:56:25
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