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Marshals to replace city’s traffic cops

All 300 of the county’s traffic police are to be swept from the streets.

They will be replaced by spy-in-the-sky cameras and the new countdown traffic lights.

Instead of the police, drivers will face an equal number of council askaris — to be called Traffic Marshals.

The 300 marshals are currently being trained at a cost of Sh86 million, paid for by the World Bank.

Police now on the county’s roads will be sent to investigate accidents and to chase up people who are spotted by the cameras breaking the highways law. This new plan will roll out next month.

“This is a huge milestone as we will now fully focus on investigating accidents and enforcing traffic laws to prevent them,” said the county Traffic Commandant Edward Mwamburi.

Around 45 Closed Circuit TV cameras have already been installed throughout the county.

They are trained on the roads and can relay vehicle details — including the number plates — to the control centre.

The County government and police are linking up to run the new system.

Governor Evans Kidero said: “It is an elaborate surveillance system that will give us information on all traffic offenders within our roads.”

And he continued:  “It will record the registration number of the vehicle and other features that we will rely on to prosecute such violators.” He said locations of most of the cameras would be kept secret to ensure their effectiveness.

“Disclosing their locations would amount to shooting ourselves in the foot, he said. “Drivers are to be caught unawares.”

The CCTV cameras would also help to cut crime by keeping an eye on suspicious characters.

Anticipating cases

“If an individual makes suspicious moves to a place or carries what might endanger public security, the cameras will notify the control room so we can follow it up,” Dr Kidero said.

Traffic police chief Mwamburi said systems failure was guarded against.