Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Noordin Haji has asked Inspector General of Police Hilary Mutyambai to give traffic police officers with body cameras to assist in investigations in the case of road violations.
DPP Haji gave the directive following uproar about traffic charges being preferred against excess passengers traveling in Public Service Vehicles (PSVs) during the festive season.
Traffic police Act Cap
According to the Traffic Act Cap, the driver, conductor and owner of a PSV that carries excess passengers are – upon conviction – liable to a fine not exceeding Ksh.20,000 and an additional Ksh.5,000 for each person in excess of the licensed capacity.
DPP Haji, in the letter to IG Mutyambai, stated and said excess passengers should first be requested to alight first and may only be charged if they decline to comply with the order of a police officer or of the owner, driver or conductor of the PSV.
“It will be in my view, difficult, to gather enough evidence to demonstrate that an excess passenger refused to comply with the order of a police officer or declined a request by the owner, conductor and/or driver not to enter the PSV. In most cases, it will be the word of the police officer against that of the passenger,” noted the DPP.
“Further, to assist in maintaining law and order on the road, to reduce police excesses, to assist in case of violations, to support investigations and to mitigate any possible corruption, it may be prudent to consider providing officers assigned traffic duties with body cameras.”
“Separately, note that prosecutors have been directed to exercise great caution while making the decision to charge. The same must meet the required evidential threshold test as well as the public interest test.”SAID
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