The National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) has proposed new traffic rules aimed at curbing drunk driving on Kenyan roads.
The proposals are contained in a draft of The Traffic (Drunk Driving) Rules, 2022, that NTSA released on Wednesday, November 16.
NTSA says motorists found drunk driving will have their licenses suspended for six months.
The Authority noted the emphasis was on drivers of Public Service Vehicles (PSVs), commercial and school vehicles.
“Any driver of a vehicle other than a public service vehicle, commercial service vehicle or school transport service vehicle driver, who is convicted more than once in a year for an offence under section 44(1) of the Act shall have their driving license suspended for six months,” read the proposed rules.
Further, NTSA said the prescribed limit of alcohol for the PSV, commercial and school vehicle drivers should be 00 micrograms in 100 millilitres of breath, blood and urine.
This means any alcohol trace in the driver’s body will see them penalized.
For private vehicle drivers, the alcohol limit has been set at 35 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath, 80 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood and 107 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of urine.
Police officers will be permitted to ask drivers involved in accidents to provide specimens (breath, blood and urine) for alcohol tests.
“Alcohol test results that indicate a driver of a vehicle other than a has exceeded the prescribed limits shall be evidence for the purposes of sections 44(1) that the person is incapable of having proper control of a mechanically propelled vehicle,” the Authority said.
According to Section 44 (1) of the Traffic Act, first offenders face a fine not exceeding Ksh10,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding three months.
Subsequent conviction attracts a fine not exceeding Ksh20,000 or a jail term not exceeding six months or both.
The new proposals also require police to ensure that the use of the breathalyzer device is hygienic by ensuring the single use of a breathalyzer straw for each individual driver being tested.
If a motorist declines a breathalyzer test, he or she will be deemed to be under the influence and penalized.
The new proposals are currently at the public participation stage with NTSA calling on Kenyans to present their views. The exercise will run across the country from November 28 to December 16, 2022.