Boda boda riders in Nairobi will have biometric number plates with unique colour codes for easy identification, Governor Ann Kananu has said.
The move follows a meeting between City Hall and boda boda associations in which they agreed on a raft of new stringent regulations aimed at streamlining a sector that has been dogged by crime, indiscipline and accidents.
Announcing the new development, Governor Kananu said that they have agreed that boda boda operators will have their motorcycles fitted with the digital numbers with each of the 17 sub-counties in Nairobi having a different colour code for easy identification.
Ms Kananu said the special plates, when scanned, will reveal the name, ID number and phone number of each rider.
The high-tech number plates will also, among other things, have anti-counterfeit features including holograms, watermarks, and laser markers which will help police to trace information on the owners of the motorcycles, their areas of operation and their eligibility in order to curtail crimes associated with rogue riders.
“We have agreed to work together and with the leaders agreeing to organise their members by ensuring they are all registered across the 17 sub-counties in Nairobi. Each will be given a county registration card and sticker with a personal identification number,” said Ms Kananu.
“They have agreed that each sub-county will have a different colour code so that we know whether a rider is supposed to operate in Kibera, Roysambu or in the city centre,” she added.
The City Hall boss gave the boda boda associations one week to come up with a committee that will be charged with implementing what has been agreed upon, starting with the registration, as they agreed to benchmark with countries like Rwanda so as to borrow best practices.
“We have a structured way of working in Nairobi because they are our brothers and sisters. Discipline must be brought to the sector by streamlining it,” she said.
Ms Kananu pointed out that the digital number plates will help distinguish between real motorcyclists and those camouflaging as riders but are criminals.
A similar development has been implemented by other counties like in Thika and Ruiru in Kiambu County and in Vihiga County.
Root out criminals
“This will help us identify the real boda boda riders and the rogues who have infiltrated the industry. There are people who pose as boda boda riders yet they are criminals. However, they have assured us that they will identify such elements and have them arrested,” the governor said.
The Nairobi governor also announced that the city county government will release all impounded motorbikes which have been seized over petty offences.
“I have given executive order for petty offenders with documents to have their motorcycles released. However, no boda bodas will be allowed to get into the city centre until we have streamlined the sector,” she said.