The High Court has ruled that there is no law allowing the highways authority to place speed limit road signs or prescribe punishment for ignoring them.
Kenyan court okays driving 20 km/hr over limit, rules road signs illegal
The court also ruled that driving 20 km/h above the 100 km/h limit is not illegal.
Delivering the ruling, Justice cited the law “Reference to section 70 sub-section 1 A refers to placement of traffic signs prescribing speed limits. Thus when considered as a whole, no offence is revealed under provisions of the law cited.”
He said that the move by the highway authority to place on or near a road traffic sign prescribing speed limits on the road does not exist in law.
“Section 70 (5A), which allows the 20 km/h excess speed does not spell out an offence although it gives a penalty for speeding,” the judge said.
“On the other hand, section 70 (5A) on its own does not disclose an offence since it only prescribes a penalty for a conviction in violation of the speed limit,” she said.
The judge gave the ruling after Ankush Shah was charged before the Magistrate’s Court after he ignored the speed limit indicated on a sign along the Southern Bypass Road between Kikuyu and Kiambu.
He however successfully pleaded his case and through his lawyer, raised questions over the charge.
According to the charge, Shah was driving at 120 km/h instead of 100 km/h and termed the charge as defective.
“Since the applicant had not exceeded the 20 km/h allowance, no offence had been committed and the charge was therefore defective as the applicant was charged for a non-existent offence,” Shah’s lawyer said.
Shah had his objection dismissed but later moved to the High Court where he successfully pleaded his case.
Within the law
He had wanted the judge to declare that all drivers fined or charged under the contested section were illegally punished.
In her ruling, the judge said the judge said the driver was within the law by exceeding the limit by 20 km/h.
“I must emphasise that the applicant having been charged for driving at 120 km/h and the law cited, an offence could only have been created if he was driving in excess of 120 km/h. He was therefore within the allowed speed limit. Effectively no offence had been committed by the speed he was driving at,” the judge said.
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