The National Transport and Safety Authority has launched a crackdown against vehicles bearing un-prescribed number plates that were not issued by the authority.
NTSA Deputy Director in charge of training Mr Wilson Tuigong said that the crackdown, which started on Monday, will continue for the next two weeks across the city.
“On Monday alone we impounded 83 vehicles across the city who had flouted traffic rules in six Nairobi sub-county and the exercise will continue for the next two weeks,” said Mr Tuigong.
The operation, undertaken by the road safety agency in conjunction with the National Disaster Management Unit (NDMU), is being conducted in Langata, Embakasi, Dagoreti, Kasarani, Kayole and Starehe sub-county.
NDMU Director Dr Dancun Ochieng said that last year they had a similar operation that was done countrywide and an analysis showed that the number of traffic violations in Nairobi were much higher than other regions.
“We came up with a plan to have a joint operation within Nairobi and we are looking at a number of violations, from compliance with road service licences, we are also checking road worthiness of the vehicle and contravening of insurance rules, among many others,” he said.
Mr Tuigong clarified that some genuine number plates with the new design exist since NTSA had rolled out a pilot project.
“There was a pilot that was done by NTSA to change the design of the number plates. A few number plates were introduced up to KCT and back. So, the ones which we see after that, some of them are un-prescribed and there are certain features for those number plates so we can check and know,” he added.
For those vehicles that were impounded for this violation, the number plates are removed and the offender is taken to court. The owners are also required to fit the number plates as prescribed by NTSA.
The government has, since 2015, been planning to introduce new-generation number plates that it says would be impossible to copy.
The proposed plates would have anti-counterfeit features that include holograms, watermarks, and laser markers which, if implemented, would provide the necessary checks against double registration of cars.
Despite the plans, the old number plates continue to be issued by the agency because the authority is yet to acquire the laser-marking machine.