Commercial Transporters have poked holes on the proposed National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) commercial service vehicle Regulations, 2017 saying the new regulations will not be practical on their face value and recommended a raft of amendments.
Speaking during a stakeholder’s forum to discuss the proposed laws at the Technical University of Mombasa, Kenya Transporters Association CEO Alfayo Otuke if passed without amendments, the regulations will be a mistreatment to the transporters given that operators of commercial service vehicles will be required to abide by a number of restrictions he said “are practically impossible.”
Under the proposed regulations which seek to minimize road accidents mostly by commercial vehicles, no driver will be allowed to park on un-designated parking areas including but not limited to road sides, road reserves, road way or bridge tunnels.
The regulations require every driver to have a valid license and also states that every driver shall be required to take a minimum mandatory of at least one hour rest for each period spent driving continuously for four hours and further no driver shall drive after accumulating eight hours of driving time in any period of 24 hours.
NTSA Deputy Director of Lisensing, John Muya said the above regulations are seek to tame the growing rate of accidents he said are mostly caused by tired and in some cases unlicensed drivers predominantly those operating commercial trucks.
“Most of the accidents that occur in our roads involve commercial vehicles…and you will find that in most cases these drivers are either overworked after driving for long without rest or some are even unsilenced like in the recent case that occurred in Gilgil killing many people… these are the things that we want to eliminate by regulations,” said Muya.
However, the transporters want most of the sections in the regulations amended arguing that apart from few stopover points, the Government has failed to designate ample parking for commercial vehicles on the highways and therefore NTSA cannot make laws on “things that do not exist.”
“Transporters should be provided with the parking and that is the prerogative of the NTSA…so if you tell us to look for our own parking what do you want us to do. Say a transporter is based in Mombasa or Nairobi, how many parking, will we have along the highway that will be enough for all the fleet… I think this should be amended to state that this will only apply where there is designated parking… again by stipulating that a driver must rest after eight hours, does it mean that a driver should stop where his eight hours have lapsed? If this is the case then NTSA should considered that there are areas along the highway that are not safe,” posed Otuke adding Traspoters are law abiding citizens.