With the launch of new electronic NTSA stickers, it will be hard for motorists to get away with traffic offenses whereas it will be easier for the police to recover stolen vehicles. The project will cost vehicle owners about sh. 2.3 billion.
The stickers will be fixed on vehicle windscreens and they will be able to tell if a car is stolen, its history of traffic offenses and the insurance status.
The National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) procured 1.3 million electronic stickers from Germany and the German-based company will supply and install 3.3 million stickers over a period of three years.
Motorists will part with 700 shillings for one sticker and this could give the NTSA revenue of up to sh. 2.3 billion.
The NTSA director-general, Francis Meja, says that we are headed to an era where motorists do not have to be taken to court for traffic offenses. The electronic readers will capture details from the sticker and then the motorist will receive a notification of the violation and will also be the period within which the fine is to be paid.
All vehicles registered as from 1st July must have the new sticker. The stickers will have an electronic chip which will have vehicle details such as the model, chassis number and number plate which will be linked to a database. Radio-frequency technology will be used to transmit information from the stickers into the NTSA database through hand-held readers or overhead street cameras.
The readers will be able to pick data from the stickers from a distance of up to six metres and will also be able to read details of a vehicle moving at 200km/hr.
The stickers will have a lifespan of 10 years. Commercial vehicles will have to get the stickers by the end of the year in order to pass the roadworthy inspection and the others vehicles will have to comply by early 2018. Private vehicles must have the sticker when renewing their annual insurance.
The NTSA has already been testing the technology in the country for some months. The stickers cost them sh. 300 and the additional cost charged will be channeled towards maintaining the database.
If the sticker is destroyed the car’s occupants will immediately become suspicious. NTSA officers will then follow up on the case.
This technology will be very vital in future when toll stations are introduced into the country’s highways. The chip will be able to automatically bill motorists without having to stop their vehicles.