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Parliament Passes Roads Bill

The bill also seeks to reform laws relating to the development, management, and maintenance of public roads. It will introduce express penalties for drivers who violate axle load regulations.
A road reserve at the Northern bypass
Parliament has passed the Roads Bill 2018 that seeks to expand roads reserves from the current 15 meters to 40 meters.

The bill also seeks to reform laws relating to the development, management, and maintenance of public roads. It will introduce express penalties for drivers who violate axle load regulations.   

The bill also empowers the Minister to declare any road, group of roads or a portion of a road as a toll road in consultation with the Finance Ministry, and the relevant road authority. It also empowers the Minister on setting toll amounts.

The Minister is also empowered to prescribe fees for road tolls in consultation with the Minister of Finance, empowers the roads authority to collect the toll and specifies on how to use it.   

If signed into law, all new national roads now have a road reserve of 80 meters in total to allow for further road development. 

In the bill passed by parliament, abandoned vehicles impounded by Police will be sold within 90 days.  Also upon a vehicle breakdown on the road, the bill gives the owner two hours to remove the vehicle.   

Failure of a person to comply with a road sign, they will be fined 480,000 shillings or imprisonment not exceeding one year, or both. This fine was reduced from the initial proposed 40 million shillings.     

The bill also criminalizes those who tether animals along the road, slaughters on a public road any animal. The proposal also prohibits burning of substances like car tyres on the road side.

Under offenses by a roads contractor, the MPs approved a fine of 40 billion shillings for a contractor who constructs a road which does not meet the requirements of standards prescribed by the Minister.

Parliament has also approved road reserve sizes for other categories of roads in the country. District roads will have a maximum width of 20 meters and urban roads will have a maximum width of 15 meters.

Park roads will also have 15 meters, while community access roads will have 10 meters from the centre.  

The new bill also empowers the minister to set road tolls in accordance with classification of vehicles and sets out modalities for payment of the road toll.

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