Drivers have protested the new National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) rules that require young drivers to wait for two years before proceeding to another driving class.
Addressing the media during the protest outside NTSA offices in Mombasa, the youth term the new rules as draconian made to frustrate the youth from getting meaningful employment as drivers.
They say they have been denied licenses renewals or upgrading their class of driving owing to the age limit that 18 year olds cannot obtain a commercial driving license limiting them to driving small personal cars only.
Driving School Owners Association Deputy National Chairperson John Magaya said NTSA has overstepped its mandate of ensuring road safety instead abusing its powers and instituting a new system to frustrate Kenyan drivers.
Magaya said driving schools have been subjected to revalidations up to five times using a foreign borrowed Transport Integrated Management System (TIMS) account system that can be developed locally.
NTSA have bestowed themselves everything from issuance of licenses, running driving schools, teaching and examining the student drivers, which is uncalled for.
Magaya wondered who checks on the NTSA operations since they have been overstepping their mandates since they do not report to a known office.
One of the victims Joseph Munywoki said he has been visiting NTSA offices from 2016 and his license was registered to someone else after going for driving lessons and sitting for exams, which he passed.
Evans Karani said he booked and paid for exams using borrowed money amounting to Sh20,000 and was denied the opportunity to sit for the exams.
Students are protesting the increase of licenses fees from sh700 to sh3,050 saying is a way too exorbitant for struggling youths who want to get meaningful employment but the charges are prohibitive.
Muslims for Human rights body MUHURI said over 200 youths have reported their humiliating experiences at NTSA offices saying the institution does not have the good will of the young people of this country and are frustrating President Uhuru Kenyatta’s efforts to uplift the youth.
MUHURI Rapid response Officer Francis Auma said the human rights lobby will move to court next week since there was no public participation to collect views from all stakeholders before the new rules were imposed.
NTSA officials are yet to respond to the cry.