Matiang’i backs ruling on instant traffic fines

Kinyuru Munuhe @kinyurumunuhe

The government has formed an inter-ministerial taskforce to develop guidelines on implementation of instant fines for traffic offenders, Interior Cabinet secretary Fred Matiang’i has said.

He said the instant fines take effect in 30 days.

The taskforce comprises officials from the Interior, Transport and ICT ministries and National Transport and Safety Authority.

Matiang’i said they will also decriminalise minor traffic offences in a bid to decongest prisons by about 8,000 inmates.

“It doesn’t make any economic sense to jail an offender convicted for minor offence that attracts a fine of Sh1,000 and we end up spending Sh20,000 maintaining that person in prison,” he said.

Speaking when opening national policing conference at the Kenya School of Government, the CS urged insurance companies to support the move in bringing sanity on the roads.

The High Court on Tuesday dismissed a suit seeking to block the instant traffic penalties ranging from Sh500 to Sh10,000.

Justice John Mativo said the petitioner, Kenya National Union of Co-operative Staff, failed to prove that the rules guiding the instant fines are unreasonable and unjustified.  He said the fines are meant to save time for the offender and justice system.

The instant fines were gazetted in 2016, but suspended by court pending the hearing and determination of the case filed by the union. Currently, motorists found committing traffic offences must face the courts.

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