NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenya plans to use virtual weigh bridges in major
highways in order to tame the rising road maintenance costs and
ensure a more regulated consumption of the roads infrastructure,
a government official said on Friday.
Muita Ngatia, Deputy
Director of Roads Assets at the Kenya National Highway Authority
(KeNHA), told a media briefing in Nairobi that the cost of road
maintenance is estimated to be increased from 600 million U.S.
dollars in 2017 to 630 million dollars in 2018.
“In order to reduce
the rising government expenditure on roads maintenance, we
intend to roll out the installation of virtual weigh bridges in
all major highways,” Ngatia said.
The East African
Community members which include Kenya, have put the maximum
gross vehicle weight on roads at 56 tonnes for commercial
Ngatia said that the
virtual weigh bridge will ensure strict enforcement of overload
in order to increase the lifespan of the Kenyan roads.
“We will be able to
monitor roads usage by heavy commercial vehicles from a central
command station through use of advanced cameras and ensure that
those who violate the law pay the heavy penalties,” he said.
He added that the
major cause of roads disrepair is heavy commercial vehicles. The
KeNHA official noted that the government plans to install ten
virtual weighbridges by end of June and another ten after a
period of twelve months.
Ngatia added that
the virtual weigh bridges will complement the existing brick and
mortar weighbridges which are very costly to operate due to need
to deploy personnel along the highways.
East Africa to harmonize
vehicle inspection standards to enhance road safety
NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
The East African Community (EAC) member states
are set to harmonize their vehicle inspection standards in order
to enhance roads safety, Kenya’s road safety agency said on
director of Motor Vehicle Inspection at Kenya’s National
Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA), told Xinhua in Nairobi
that currently each of the six EAC partner states have different
vehicle inspection standards.
“All the road safety
agencies in the EAC have agreed to adopt a single vehicle
inspection standard to ensure road traffic accidents are
reduced,” Wangai said during the stakeholders’ forum of truckers
on self regulation on the axle load limit.
EAC partner states
include Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi and South
Wangai said that
harmonization of vehicle inspection standards will lead to
mutual recognition of national inspection certifications by
other member states.
He noted that
relaxation of the borders among trading bloc states has resulted
in vehicles inspected in one member state plying the roads of
another partner state.
He added that due to
different national vehicle standards, automobile owners are
forced to undergo inspection by other EAC member states.
“This is a form of
non tariff barrier that slows down the progress on regional
integration,” he said.
The NTSA official
stressed that the economic bloc is already undertaking joint
regional road projects that aim to ease flow of people and goods
in the region.
Wangai noted that
the harmonization of the vehicle inspection standards will also
promote regional and international trade given that the
hinterland countries of the EAC depend on Kenya’s port of
Mombasa as well as Tanzania’s port of Dar es Salaam for imports