Digital Africa: Kenya To Shift To Smart Driving Licenses

The National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) in Kenya has announced that its in its final processes in the   launch of a smart driving licenses with a view of replacing old paper-based ones to help in curbing rogue drivers on roads.

File Photo: NMG

The tech-based driving license will be fitted with an electronic chip similar to SIM cards that will contain vital details of the driver’s identity and records that can easily be retrieved electronically for reference. The card comes loaded with points to be deducted every time a motorist commits a traffic offence. Repeat offenders who will have exhausted their points will permanently lose their licences, have them confiscated temporarily, pay spot fines or be made to attend refresher driving classes.

“All Kenyans will be required to have the new license that will be launched in phases to give time to people who have renewed their tradition licenses for several months,” said the NTSA Director of Road Safety.

Misdemeanours like overlapping will see drivers lose a single point from their accounts over and above getting fined. A driver will have a week or so to recover this “lost” point if he or she doesn’t commit other offences.

Serious offences like drunk driving and speeding will result in deductions of more than 10 points, fines and a raft of other disciplinary measures that could see one lose their licence for life. The NTSA will also share the information on rogue drivers with insurance firms, a move that could see such drivers’ premiums rise as they will be deemed to be risky clients.

The authority says it has already completed about 80% of the work needed to implement the new system and will in a few weeks time begin the distribution of the digital driving licences. The agency aims to scrap the paper element of the older version in an effort to streamline the transport sector.

A smart licence enables the authority to end the duplication of paper licences and keep electronic records of vehicles and their owners. The chip-based smart driving licences will be issued in phases in order to give time to people who renewed theirs for several months.

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