The Kenya National Police Service is ranked as the most corrupt institution in the country, and bribery is reported to be the only way to access the police and expedite services. Half of all Kenyans who have come into contact with the police, have paid a bribe. The police also struggle with a lack of oversight and organizational and technical deficiencies Kenya’s police relentlessly engage in false imprisonment, abuse of human rights and fabrication of charges to extort bribes. Corrupt police officers are rarely arrested or prosecuted for corruption crimes.
Corruption in the police sector majorly emanates from the traffic police composition. Its widely known that if you have Ksh 50, as a motorist, you can pass through any police check without any problem. The traffic police are often seen building storey buildings, buying their own matatus and having fat bank accounts just through the bribes they collect from motorists. But as a motorist do you know your rights when stopped by a traffic police? To avoid parting with you Ksh 50 or more, aiding in corrupt activities or being roughed up/manhandled/violation of your rights, here is what you should know.
- No traffic officer is allowed to get and keep your license, they are only allowed to get your details off it.
- You are not required to have a category (professional driving permit) if you are driving a vehicle for private use.
- If you do not have your license on you, no police officer is allowed to charge you on the spot. You should be given time to produce it (according to the law its 21 days).
- When stopped for speeding, there is an allowance of up to 8 kms above the speed limit. You should not be charged for over speeding.
- You are within your rights to ask for the calibration certificate of the radar gun used to capture your speed.
- You are within your rights to ask for a police officer’s man number, which should be attached his/her uniform.
- If you feel a check point has illegally been mounted, drive to the nearest police station and handle your issues from there.
- Traffic police officers have no right to enter in your car.
- Every traffic officer is required to greet you politely, they are a service not a force.
- No traffic officer is allowed to cause undue delay to a motorist.
- It is within the law to record a video or capture photos of your encounter with a traffic police officer.
- You have up to 48 hours to report to the Anti-Corruption Bureau of any misconduct (for instance receiving or demanding a bribe) by a traffic officer. Be sure you have evidence such as a video or photos.