Bill Proposes Renaming NTSA, Granting it More Powers

May 23, 2024

A new bill designed to broaden the mandate of the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) ostensibly to reduce the rising number of road accidents is set to be introduced in Parliament.

In the proposed bill, The National Safety and Transport Authority Amendment Bill (2024), significant proposes are made, which would greatly expand the power of the authority to investigate accidents in Kenya’s transport sector.

The changes start from the name, with a proposal to rename NTSA as the National Safety and Transportation Authority (NSTA).

Transport Cabinet Secretary will be tasked with establishing an incident reporting system to collect information on actual and potential safety deficiencies across the country. This system aims to enhance the overall safety framework by identifying and addressing recurring safety issues.

Moreover, the bill proposes the creation of the National Road Transport and Safety Fund, which will be managed by the Authority. The Fund will comprise money appropriated by Parliament, collected levies, grants, donations, and other approved sources. The funds will be utilized to conduct research and audits on road transport safety, implement safety education and awareness campaigns, execute road safety strategies, and carry out related operations.

The bill grants NTSA the power to appoint investigators for these probes, with qualifications prescribed by the Cabinet Secretary in charge of Transport. Investigators will need specialized skills and knowledge to properly conduct investigations.

If enacted, NTSA will be empowered to investigate accidents in air, road, rail, pipeline, and other forms of underground and land surface transport. The bill states, “The Authority shall investigate or cause to be investigated, in such detail as it shall prescribe, and determine the facts, conditions, circumstances, and the cause or probable cause of any aircraft accident, road accident, railway accident, marine accident occurring in Kenya’s internal waters, or pipeline accident resulting in fatalities or substantial property damage.”

Additionally, the Authority will investigate any other transportation-related accidents deemed catastrophic or of a recurring nature. The proposed legislation reads, “It shall also investigate any other accident relating to the transportation of people or property which, in the opinion of the Authority, is catastrophic or involves problems of a recurring character.”

The bill outlines that NTSA will also have sweeping powers to coordinate transportation safety activities for all forms of transport within the country.

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