The National Assembly on Wednesday passed the Traffic (Amendment) Bill 2016 which contains stringent regulations aimed at enhancing safety in Kenyan school buses.
According to the Bill, all school buses will be required to be painted yellow with institution names written in black.
Under the new regulations, school buses will not be allowed to operate between 10 pm and 5 am.
The Bill also states that a motor vehicle designated to transport children to or from school, or for any non-school related activity, when they are in a group, shall be fitted with safety belts designed to be used by children.
The lawmakers, however, rejected a proposal to have the speed limit of vehicles approaching learning institutions fixed at 30km per hour and instead had it fixed at 50km per hour.
The Bill, sponsored by Laisamis MP Joseph Lekuton, also stipulates that any person who contravenes its provisions will be liable to a fine not exceeding Sh30,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding two months, or to both.
Other vehicles that regularly transport school children but are not schools buses will be exempted from the stringent rules but will be required to adhere to other traffic rules.
According to the NTSA school bus safety rules, school driver recruitment should involve both the Parents Teachers Association representation (PTA) and school administration due to the important responsibility that is entrusted those persons.
School bus drivers are also required to successfully complete a written and oral test covering driver duties, bus operating procedures, traffic and school bus regulations, road emergency and crash related procedures such as first aid, basic appreciation of the development stages and needs of pre-school and school age child supervision, responsibilities and transportation of passengers with special needs.
The bill is awaiting presidential assent.