By: OLIVER MUSEMBI
The government intends to enact a new law to introduce stiffer penalties on axle load offenders who exceed the maximum weight allowed.
The proposed Transport Regulation Act seeks to raise fines for excess vehicle loads of 10 tonnes and above from the current Sh400,000 to Sh800,000.
A Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) official, Isaiah Onsongo, said the government was incurring huge losses through road damage caused by overloading.
“As a result of overloading, a road that is designed to last 15 years is ruined in less than five years. The loss is enormous and measures must be put in place to avert this,” he said.
Mr Onsongo was speaking in Juja during the launching of Dricon Transporters Sacco, an association of sand transporters operating along Thika Road on Friday.
He said the government was encouraging transporters to form saccos so as to help reduce overloading through self-regulation.
“We have decided to partner with drivers and conductors for them to be able to regulate themselves on issues of overloading and make them understand the advantages of complying,” the official said.
Mr Onsongo said five groups of transporters in Mlolongo, Mai Mahiu and Thika Road had so far come together to form saccos and another one would be launched in Embu soon.
Besides making transporters comply with the law, he said the sacco would enable them access credit.
The Dricon Secretary-General Zachariah Nderitu said the group, which operates 215 lorries, was petitioning the government to embrace dialogue.
“Through the sacco, we are going to discipline errant members and we ask the authorities to engage us positively in order to achieve our mutual goals,” he said.