GOVERNMENT LAUNCHES DIGITAL NUMBER PLATES

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The government rolled out the new generation number plates for motor vehicles as part of measures to guarantee security against duplication.

The new plates were unveiled on Tuesday morning by Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i and his cabinet colleagues James Macharia (Transport) and Joe Mucheru (ICT) at the GSU Recce unit Headquarters in Ruiru.

Number plates

Fred Matiang’i said that the terrorist attack on DusitD2 on January 15 to 16, 2019, was enabled by use of forged number plates.

The terrorists used a cloned number plate to move with a car loaded with explosives and weapons ahead of the attack that left 22 people dead, he said.

As a result, the event marked the start of reforms in the motor vehicle industry.

Fred Matiang’i at the launch

All automobiles, including motorbikes and three-wheelers, trailers and tractors, both private and government-owned, and those used by diplomats and international organizations will adopt the new generational plates. According to Interior CS Fred Matiang’i, all motorists are required to replace their old number plates within 18 months. Fred Matiang’i insisted that exercise is mandatory and urged all motorists to replace the plates within the stipulated timelines.

Unique features

The plates have received two notable features: first, they now have security features, which allow law enforcement agencies to track vehicles. The feature is basically a microchip, which can be read by security agencies remotely. Secondly, the plates have aesthetically pleasing fonts and design.

Also, the plates now have a QR code, the Kenyan flag, and NTSA serial number.

This development follows compliance with the Traffic Act, 2016, which has a clause for security agencies to trace vehicles in case they are suspected to have been part of a crime or illegal activity.

Furthermore, the new plates will be put on all imported vehicles at their point of entry. The same exercise will also see direct synchronization with tax agency KRA. This, it is said, will help the agency track tax evaders, including businesses that sell vehicles.

The plates will begin with the KDK series. As a result, Kenyans will part with Ksh3,000 to replace the old motor-vehicle number plates with the digital ones.

What do you think about this new development?

By Wanjiru Mbaru

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