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Tough new rules for Uber, Bolt, Little Cab drivers & passengers

Obscene language, throwing bottles out of a cab and other practices outlawed in Kenya

Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure CS James Macharia

Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia on Thursday signed new rules that will see Kenyans risk paying an Sh20,000 fine or face a minimum of six months jail time for spitting and littering in Uber, Bolt, Little Cab taxis.

According to the new regulations, passengers have been barred from using obscene or offensive language and being disorderly while riding in digital cabs and spitting in or from the vehicle, or deliberately damaging or soiling it.

A transport network passenger shall while using a transport network service or riding in a transport network vehicle not throw out of the transport network vehicle any bottle, liquid or litter or any other article or thing; (and shall) pay the fare for the whole journey taken,” read the regulations in part.

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Smoking cigarettes, throwing bottles from the vehicle, or damaging any part or equipment in the vehicle while traveling are among the habits that have been banned by CS of transport.

The law has also cautioned digital taxi drivers against taking longer-than necessary routes to unfairly increase their charges.

Each transport network driver offering transport network duties of transport services shall drive transport network passengers to their destination by other than the shortest and most direct route unless requested to do so by the passenger," said Macharia.

Macharia has also recommended drivers to equip their vehicles with hands-free accessories for mobile devices to hold phones when driving.

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"Drivers shall not drive any transport network vehicle while using a mobile communications device without a hands-free accessory," he said

Tinting of taxi windows, drivers being physically or verbally abusive to passengers, and drivers chewing miraa, smoking, or drinking while driving are among the forbidden behaviors in regulation signed by Macharia.

A person who contravenes any provision of these Regulations commits an offense and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding twenty thousand shillings or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or both,” stated James.

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