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Why NTSA officers are removing number plates from motorists' cars on the road

NTSA officers have been removing number plates from cars during the crackdown on road users

A Kakamega County vehicle found operating without an inspection certificate

In a renewed effort to curb the escalating road accidents witnessed in the early months of 2024, National Transport & Safety Authority (NTSA) officers are now back on Kenyan roads, actively enforcing traffic laws.

Following the alarming rise in road incidents from January through April, Roads and Transport Cabinet Secretary Kipchumba Murkomen announced the return of NTSA officers from March.

One of the significant measures being taken includes the removal of number plates from vehicles that fail to adhere to the traffic rules.


NTSA's operation focuses on ensuring that all vehicles on the road are in compliance with the Traffic Act.

According to the Act, "No vehicle shall be used on a road unless such vehicle and all parts and equipment thereof, including lights and tyres, comply with the requirements of this Act" (Traffic Act, Section 55).

Any vehicle found violating these conditions is subject to immediate action, which can include the removal of vehicle identification plates.

The rationale behind this stringent measure is clear: a vehicle that doesn't meet safety standards poses a threat not only to the driver and passengers but also to other road users.


By detaching the number plates, NTSA effectively prevents these vehicles from being used until they are brought back into compliance, thereby reducing the risk of accidents.

The Traffic Act says that, "Where a police officer, licensing officer or inspector makes an order under subsection (4) he may remove the vehicle identification plates and the vehicle licence and, if he does so, shall deliver them to the Authority to be kept while that order remains in force."

This process is designed to enforce strict adherence to safety guidelines and ensure that all vehicles on Kenyan roads are fit for operation.


While this move might inconvenience some motorists, the overall benefit to road safety is deemed substantial.

Motorists found violating the traffic laws face hefty fines or imprisonment, emphasizing the seriousness of these violations.


Vehicle owners are urged to ensure their vehicles comply with all safety requirements specified under the Traffic Act.

Regular maintenance checks, especially focusing on critical components like brakes, lights, and tyres, can prevent breaches of the law.

Compliance not only avoids penalties but more importantly, contributes to the safety of all road users.


With the enforcement of these laws the authorities are expecting the measures to bring a much-needed reduction in road accidents, safeguarding lives and improving traffic conditions across the country.

Motorists are encouraged to adhere strictly to regulations and to regularly check their vehicles for compliance with the Traffic Act.


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