Kenya’s population is over 47 million and Nairobi has over 4 million residing in the capital city. There is no doubt that we face traffic jams every day and almost every hour, especially the main Uhuru Highway which for being short is the bottlenecked hold of our traffic.
The National Transport and Safety Authority are going to implement a Third Licence Sticker as per The Traffic (Registration Plate) Rules, 2016 (Legal Notice No. 62) gazette on 15th April, 2016. The authority notifies members of the public that with effect from 1st July, 2017, all NEW and SECOND HAND MOTOR VEHICLE REGISTRATIONS will be required to acquire this Third Licence Sticker.
The motive is to reduce road crashes, monitor/count the number of vehicles and curb crime especially tax evasion and smuggling. This sticker will be linked to your insurance and tax details. In the end it all comes down to whether you are legitimate citizen of the country and are paying your share of the taxes. Indeed it will be a great way to remove the fake licence drivers and those who are causing carnage on the roads. This is also an excellent way to curb terrorism. Of course there might be those who will come up with counterfeit stickers, thus the Government’s role on fighting counterfeits will have to be increased.
From the vehicle arriving at the Mombasa Port and then heading to different parts of the country, the Kenya Revenue Authority and Customs will certainly have to get things in order there too because the chances of manipulation are higher there. An average citizen will be more encouraged to rely on buying the vehicle from the car yard or showroom, but prices surely need to become friendlier too. The burden of this sticker, inspection and other regulations should not be borne by the car buyer.
Just like our SIM card on our mobile phones can give the Government access to our information and conversation, so will this sticker with the chip do for our vehicle. They will be able to track the vehicle whenever and whatever time but then again, even if the NTSA will be well equipped and trained to do so, so should the Kenya Police. After all they are the first contact at the point of an accident, we need an abstract, witnesses and reports. They need to have access to this tracking equipment or data immediately to support the smooth running of the entire program.
What will be interesting to see will be, that if the Insurance companies may get roped in to replace their stickers with this one from NTSA then what about those who have purchased cars on vehicle asset finance and are unable to pay their loan instalments. Will the car be taken back by the bank, since data is now readily available. This will also allow statistics to be used for traffic monitoring and improvements. This can give more information on which other modes of transport to invest in the country and how much will the best one cost. This is so far a great improvement in the step of monitored development. It may look very controlled and big brother type but sometimes that is what it takes to get things organized, observe and then make the move, just like chess.