Kenya National Highways Authority [KeNHA] has automated its weighbridge station systems along the northern corridor to enhance efficiency and compliance of load weight by trucks.
According to Jackson Kimuyi, of Danka Africa Kenya Limited, a firm contracted by KeNHA to manage Gilgil, Suswa and Mai-Mahiu, the automation of weighbridge systems has seen traffic reduce by over 70 per cent.
Kimuyi, who is the Assistant Operations Manager said the automation has facilitated trade along the corridor by ensuring faster and easier movement of cargo through the 24- hour manned weighbridge systems.
Kimuyi said the government has ensured that all the systems at the weighbridge have been automated including the weighing verification bay, monitoring systems and paperless payment of fees.
Kimuyi said the move to automate was necessitated by increased lack of compliance of weight rules by local and regional trucks which saw a sharp increase in road maintenance costs due to damages.
He said the automation of fees charged by those flouting the set rules have also reduced corruption incidents at the weighbridge thanks to minimal human contact with cash.
Kimuyi said over 2,000 trucks pass through the Gilgil weighbridge daily but only 30 per cent of trucks weighing over 3.5 tonnes are filtered by the system while the 70 per cent are monitored through its mobile road system.
“The compliance rate with the set load weight standards by trucks by our systems stands at 99 per cent,” said Kimuyi.
Kimuyi said Kenya as part of the East Africa Community [EAC] is implementing the common EAC Vehicle Load Control Act  which was enacted to ensure standardized rules including truck loads and fees charged.
The law, he said, aims to protect roads from damage by curbing overloading across borders with stiff penalties prescribed against those found guilty of contravening the laid down regulations.
He added that the law helps to reduce overloading incidences, monitor individual counties roads network as well as help collect real time traffic data for design and planning processes.
Kimuyi, however, appealed for expansion of the lanes at the weighbridge noting that the peak hour’s traffic continues to affect their operations, causing delays in clearance of trucks.
By Erastus Gichohi