Kenya is switching to digital driving licences in efforts to digitize information and traffic offences history as part of the efforts of revolutionizing enforcement of traffic laws.
An initial production of 100,000 smart cards has been produced ready for distribution by the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA).
The digital cards will have embedded chips that will be decoded by card readers that will show a driver’s traffic offences in real time.
Authorities will utilize the cards to reduce traffic offences and crashes by awarding points to drivers, repeat offenders will exhaust their points and eventually lose their licences permanently or temporarily. Drivers might be directed to attend refresher driving classes and pay fines on the spot using the cards.
“The licences will bear details of the holders, including their photos. The chip stores driving histories and serves as a payment wallet connected to the Judiciary,” NTSA’s head of ICT, Fernando Wangila, told the Business Daily.
Each motorist’s card will be loaded with 20 points that will be deducted progressively at a rate proportional to the offences committed. For instance a traffic offence such as overlapping will deduct a single point which can be recovered in a week, it they don’t commit an offence.
Offences like drunk driving and speeding will take away over 10 points, fines and other disciplinary measures plus the possibility of one losing their licence for life.
NTSA will share the information collected on rogue drivers with insurance firms, meaning the drivers’ premiums rise since they will be categorized as risky clients.
National Bank of Kenya is manufactuiring and formulating the smart licences at a cost of Sh2.1 billion (20,240,976USD). There are over three million registered drivers in NTSA database.
Kenya hopes to have every driver under the new system in the next three years.
By mid-2020, even those who have not proactively requested to get the new licences will have to acquire them through the normal renewal process on e-Citizen (government platform),” said Dr Wangila.