Win for Truck Drivers as KenHA Increases Maximum Height Limit

March 7, 2024

The Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) has announced an adjustment in the height restriction for motor vehicles operating on Kenyan roads, now allowing a maximum height of 4.5 metres, up from the previous limit of 4.3 metres.

This development, revealed by the Kenya Transporters Association (KTA) on March 6, represents a significant policy change welcomed by the transportation sector, who have been requesting this review.

In a statement shared Wednesday, the KTA shared the outcome of its successful negotiations with KeNHA, leading to an increase of 0.2 metres in the height tolerance for vehicles.

This adjustment is the result of extensive discussions that were aimed at addressing the concerns of truck drivers and transportation companies regarding vehicle height restrictions.

The KTA also advised its members to reach out to the KTA Secretariat for assistance in the event a vehicle within the new height limit is detained.

While the association celebrated the increased height allowance, it has yet to confirm whether this change will be reflected in an amendment to the Traffic Act to formally align with the new agreement made with KeNHA.

Height restrictions for vehicles on Kenyan highways dictate how our bridges and flyovers are built, and therefore any increase must put into account the current height of our bridges.

Despite the increase in height tolerance, the maximum overall width of motor vehicles, including any load that extends beyond the vehicle’s width, remains capped at 2.65 metres. T

he height measurement, taken from the road surface, denotes the total height of a motor vehicle or a combination of vehicles, whether laden or unladen. Too many times we have seen trucks with very high loads get stuck under bridges and flyovers, often incurring significant damage to both the vehicle/load and the infrastructure.

The Traffic Act also includes provisions aimed at ensuring vehicle stability, specifying that “a vehicle body shall not be constructed, nor shall the vehicle be loaded, to a height that will impair its stability.”

Additionally, the Act restricts any part of a vehicle, other than the driving mirror or direction indicators, from projecting more than 15 cm beyond the outer wall of the rear tyre.

Regarding vehicle lengths, the Act stipulates that passenger vehicles should not exceed 11 metres, while articulated vehicles, including semi-trailers, are limited to a maximum length of 17.4 metres.

A combination of vehicles, consisting of a motor vehicle with a drawbar trailer or a vehicle with a semi-trailer and a drawbar trailer, is permitted a maximum length of 22 metres.

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