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Kenya to use virtual weigh bridges to
tame rising road maintenance costs

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 vehicles.

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 Friday.

Gerald Wangai, 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 Sudan.

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 and exports.



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