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PSVs given deadline to fit speed governors

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Simon Kimutai
Matatu Owners Association (MOA) chairman Simon Kimutai. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Public Service Vehicle (PSV) operators have up to March 1 to fit their vehicles with speed governors that relay data in real-time to a database at the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) in a move aimed at taming road accidents.

NTSA director-general Francis Meja said Monday the new gadget will help the transport regulator track the speed at which a vehicle is being driven and its location.

Current speed governors are often manipulated by PSV operators in the quest to move faster and boost their returns.

“Motor vehicle owners will be expected to upgrade their speed governors to the current standards on or before March 1, 2019.

“Implementation of the revised speed limiting device standard KS 2295:2018 takes effect from December 1, 2018,” said Mr Meja.

Drivers in breach of the rule face fines and suspension of driving licences for repeat offenders.

The new speed meter rules come weeks after a speeding bus killed more than 50 people, prompting a crackdown on vehicles in breach of traffic rules.

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Police reports show that 2,345 people died in road crashes across Kenya in the 10 months to October, an eight per cent rise compared to last year.

Suppliers of the speed governors have until next week to comply with the new regulations which are meant to reduce accidents caused by PSVs.

“With these new standards it will be very easy to tell if a speed limiter has been tampered with.

“We know that some drivers have put switches on theirs, turn them off when they want to speed and only turn them on when they see police.

“These new ones will tell us if they have been tampered with, because the information will be getting to our servers in real time,” Mr Meja said.

He added that the authority will no longer have to wait for an accident to happen in order to determine that it was caused by a speeding vehicle.

He added that the devices will be linked to the drivers’ licences, and if a driver is found to have interfered with a device his licence will be withdrawn. This also limits the number of people who can drive the vehicles.

“We shall also be carrying out inspection of suppliers’ offices to make sure they have fitting centres,” Mr Meja said, implying that in the past suppliers have been operating without physical addresses for fitting the devices.

Following complaints by the Matatu Owners Association last week that poor quality speed governors were supplied to unsuspecting owners, acting Kebs Managing Director Bernard Nguyo affirmed that all gadgets are tested and certified to be of high quality.

He blamed rogue matatu operators for tampering with the devices, leading to accidents.

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