Kenyan oil trucks back on the road from dusk to dawn after three years in the cold but there is a catch

Trucks transporting oil, petrol and gas wait to reload outside a depot in the outskirts of Nairobi September 30, 2008.   REUTERS/Antony Njuguna
  • This follows the singing of a new regulation by Petroleum and Mining Cabinet Secretary John Munyes.
  • The government began enforcing the night transport ban in 2016 after a truck carrying inflammable substances rammed several vehicles before bursting into flames killing 33 people near Karai on the Nairobi-Naivasha highway.
  • The latest move is a big win for the transporters who have always protested the ban.

Kenyan roads are set to become even busier at night after the government finally allowed trucks ferrying oil to operate at night again.

This follows the singing of a new regulation by Petroleum and Mining Cabinet Secretary John Munyes that have cancelled the rule that barred petrol tankers from the road between 6.30pm and 6.30am.

“The principal regulations are amended in regulation 8 by — deleting paragraph (k) and substituting therefore the following new paragraph —operate during the day and night,” read the regulations.

While there was a law barring oil tanker to operate at night which was introduced in 2013, the government only began tightening the night transport rules in 2016 after a truck carrying inflammable substances at night rammed several vehicles before bursting into flames killing 33 people near Karai on the Nairobi-Naivasha highway.

The latest move is a big win for the transporters who have always protested the ban. A standoff between the distributors and the department of petroleum ensued in early 2017 when the ban was enforced, causing a fuel crisis in parts of the country.

The new regulations doesn’t, however, give oil trucks a free rein.

The truck drivers will be required to have a journey plan for each trip and be allowed to drive continuously for a maximum of eight hours in a day.

The tankers will now be required to have a line of reflective tape along the entire horizonta length of the left and right side of the tank as well as across their rear side to ease identification in darkness. 

Tanker owners will also be required to install a tracking device for monitoring, under the new regulations.

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