Kenya introduces point-system driving rules with new digital drivers’ licence

Old Driving licence

Starting May, Kenyan motorists will be able to use the newly launched smart license to pay traffic violations fines instantly at the point where the violation occurred. The National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) has said.
The new license is equipped with a smart wallet from where the driver will be able to withdraw funds to pay for minor traffic offenses.
“You can utilize the wallet for other payments, including fuel but more importantly it will be the mode of payment for traffic fines,” NTSA director-general Francis Meja said.
The instant fines are for the penalties ranging between Sh500 and Sh10,000, which may include speeding, riding motorcycles without protective gear, failure to fasten seat belts, pedestrians blocking free passage of cars, driving on footpaths and traveling with part of the body outside a moving vehicle. Mr Meja said the new digital driving licenses – the size of a standard debit card – will improve road safety.
“When in place, the smart driving license will enable the government to capture the driving history of all drivers and improve enforcement of traffic laws,” said Mr Meja.
NTSA, using special electronic gadgets, will be able to retrieve the holder’s information and driving history from the second generation driving licenses which are embedded with a secure computer chip.
The smart license is expected to reduce bribery and corruption in the transportation sector. The digital cards will come with preloaded points and every time a driver commits a traffic violation, points will be deducted.
“They will come with a point system where users will get points deducted for various traffic offenses. Once they exhaust their point system, they will then have their driver’s license confiscated for a period of time. The points will be about 20. Should they go down to below 15, the driver will be suspended from the road for a period of six months,” said Mr Meja.
Those found using suspended drivers’ licenses could face up to one-year in jail without the option of bail if amendments to the law being pushed by NTSA is successful. Mr Meja added.
National Bank will be supplying the licenses after it won the tender to develop them in 2015, defeating 22 other companies.