National Treasury, the Ministry of Transport and the Attorney-General have been working on mechanisms to impose toll fees on major national roads and establishment of a toll fund after MPs paved the way for its introduction. Among the list of major highways where this fee will be imposed include, Nairobi-Nakuru, Nairobi-Mombasa, Nairobi-Thika and Nairobi’s Southern Bypass.
Toll fee is a form of road pricing typically implemented to help recoup the cost of road construction and maintenance for a private or a public road. This new charges will fall under a new class of tax and will see motorists pay toll charges on top of the fuel levy despite the fact that roads are funded using tax revenues.
To ensure that all motorists fully comply with the new law, the National Assembly’s Finance and National Planning Committee has amended the Public Roads Toll Act, to introduce higher penalties for motorists driving through toll stations without paying the required fees. Motorist caught flouting the rules will be slapped with a fine worth Ksh 50,000 from Ksh 5,000 previously or imprisonment to a term not exceeding six months.
“The amendment seeks to enhance the penalty for failure or fraudulently passing through a toll station without paying or failure to use the designated route for passage through a toll station,” noted Joseph Limo, who chairs the Finance and Planning Committee.
The legal mechanisms to guide the toll fees on major national roads and establishment of a toll fund will be effective starting July 1.