November 14, 2018

Why High Court suspended NTSA night travel ban

The High Court on Thursday suspended the night travel ban issued by National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) and the National Police Service in December, 2017.

Judge Enoch Chacha Mwita issued a temporary order in the case filed by activist Okiya Omtatah.

“Pending the hearing and determination of this case, the court is pleased to suspend NTSA and the police service’s undated as well as unsigned joint press statement which suspended night travel for all long distance Public Service Vehicles from December 31, 2017,” the judge ruled.

According to Mr Omtatah, the ban had negatively affected public transport in the country.

Omtatah also faulted the Government for not protecting PSV operators.

“The impugned press statement banning night travel is void for contravening clear provisions of the Constitution and the Fair Administrative Action Act.

“If the Court does not interdict the impugned statutory instrument and insist that the proper procedure must be followed in the making of regulations, Kenya’s constitutional and legal framework concerning statutory instruments, due process, rule of law as well as the constitutionalism in general, will be overthrown,” Omtatah explained.

The Ministry of Transport and NTSA had on Tuesday announced the night travel ban would be lifted in February.

Transport Principal Secretary Paul Mwangi said the ban which was imposed in December following a spate of fatal accidents would be lifted selectively depending on compliance and safety approvals from the respective SACCOs.

“The ban will first be lifted for the operators who have a good safety and compliance record and the rest will follow once we are satisfied that the PSV operator has a proven safety record. Those who have been found to cause road accident will not be allowed to travel at night,” Mr Mwangi told the National Assembly Transport Committee.

NTSA Director General Francis Meja added that all PSVs will now be required to introduce driver log sheets for all long distance PSV operators which shall be counter signed by the company’s supervisor at various stops and police officers on roadblocks will similarly be required to fill it.

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