Taxi drivers who take longer routes in order to unfairly increase their charges face a Ksh20,000 fine or six months in jail or both. This is according to the new rules set by the Ministry of Transport aimed at curbing the state of unruliness in the taxi industry.
Transport Cabinet Secretary, James Macharia, who assented to the new guidelines, noted that taxi companies will now be under the watchful eye of the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA).
The directive outlines rules for both the passengers and the drivers who will face stiff penalties if found guilty.
Transport CS James Macharia flags off an NTSA branded car.
File “A person who contravenes any provision of these Regulations commits an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding twenty thousand shillings or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or both,” reads the regulations in part.
Here are the rules:
According to CS Macharia, the new rules will aid in maintaining an orderly state for the stakeholders in the taxi industry.
Passengers have been barred from using offensive languages or gestures to other road users. Further, during the trip, passengers are banned from acting in a disorderly manner.
Should they be reported for smoking cigarettes or throwing bottles from the vehicle and littering, passengers risk hefty fines or a jail term.
Those who spit in cabs also risk stiff penalties. Further, the new law bans passengers from damaging any part or equipment in the vehicle during the time of travel.
Drivers have been banned from tinting or decorating the windows of their vehicles. Further, they have been barred from smoking, driving while drunk and chewing miraa.
The drivers have also been instructed to issue tickets to passengers to act as a receipt of payment.
The new law also stipulates that they ought to equip their vehicles with hands-free accessories to hold their mobile devices during the travel period.
Further, drivers have been banned from driving more than eight hours straight in order to reduce fatigue.
No taxi vehicle on the road ought to be more than 16 years old from the date of manufacture.
The owner of the transport vehicle ought to keep the driver’s license details for a minimum of two years. The owner should also enter into a contractual agreement with the driver, stipulating the terms of engagement.
The law prohibits drivers from assigning, transferring, or allowing usage of the platform account by another person. The driver ought to return any item left behind to their customers, though at the passenger’s expense.
The rules also outlawed the drivers from taking longer routes than required in order to unfairly increase the charges.
“Each transport network driver offering transport network duties of transport services shall drive transport network passengers to their destination by other than the shortest and most direct route unless requested to do so by the passenger,” read part of the new rules.
Taxi drivers at a parking lot in Nairobi