Dealing with Road Blocks / Police





Results 1 to 8 of 8
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Helsinki
    Age
    40
    Posts
    528
    Thanked: 47

    Default Dealing with Road Blocks / Police

    Hello

    One final question (I hope) We'll be travelling from Nairobi to the Mara Triangle 2 days before the elections. I suppose there will be many roadblocks and police active on the roads. Do you have any tips how to deal with bogus fines, "inflated" fines or requests for bribes etc? Any do's and don'ts? (apart from obeying traffic rules of course )

    I'm also not clear on whether on the spot fines are legal or not? What's the procedure?

    Thank you!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    East London
    Age
    67
    Posts
    4,756
    Thanked: 3992

    Default Re: Dealing with Road Blocks / Police

    I was told by expats that bogus fines were more common on Fridays when the police were looking for weekend pocket money.

    We did have 2 attempts at extortion in Kenya, one successful one not. Spot fines appear legal but they must give you a receipt.

    Make sure all the lights are working especially the oft-forgotten rear number plate light.

    Have all your documents available: insurance, driver's licence, passports, vehicle papers, permission to use if hired vehicle. I guess yours will be a hired vehicle with Kenyan registration plates, if not the temporary import permit as well.

    Sometimes speed restrictions through small villages are not obvious so slow down to below 50km/hr as a precaution. Another problem is that when exiting a speed restriction zone there may not be a cancellation of the speed restriction sign, but do not speed up until you are absolutely sure you are outside that zone, sometimes the restriction continues for an unexpectedly long distance. There are many radar guns but we never saw one on the open road, only through restrictions. Be careful of overtaking on solid white lines and bridges. If you have transgressed apologize and ask for "forgiveness", they will sometimes wave you on with a warning.

    Other than speed traps there are plenty of road blocks where your documentation is checked as well as the roadworthiness of the vehicle. Most often they were just interested and friendly. Prepare answers to frequent questions like where you have come from and where you are heading for. Generally the police are friendly and professional and their English is good. Learn some basic Swahili greetings. "Jambo" - hello, "habari" - how are you, "asante sana" - thank you very much and the slang word "pau" in reply to habari and meaning cool (pronounced something like pow-a).

    A friendly attitude, patience, dark glasses, hats and music off and a greeting handshake will get you a long way. If you are asked for a present or a gift simply pretend to not understand. Remember you also have your rights as a visitor and there might be times where firmness is the correct way of dealing with difficult officials.

    Generally speaking the Kenyan police are better than most places in Africa but I suppose things may be a little tense around the elections. I would not be unduly concerned as you are experienced African travelers.
    Stanley Weakley.
    Toyota Landcruiser 76SW 4,2L diesel.

    “Great journeys are memorable not so much for what you saw, but for where you camped”.

    Trans East Africa 2015/2016 Trip report https://www.4x4community.co.za/forum...-6-SLOW-DONKEY
    OR
    http://www.4x4community.co.za/forum/...e16?highlight= from post 315.

  3. The Following User Says Thank You to Stan Weakley For This Useful Post:


  4. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Helsinki
    Age
    40
    Posts
    528
    Thanked: 47

    Default Re: Dealing with Road Blocks / Police

    Thank you for the valuable information Stan! We are already learning some basic Swahili to help us along the way

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    UK
    Age
    62
    Posts
    1,560
    Thanked: 1043

    Default Re: Dealing with Road Blocks / Police

    There is nothing to fear from the Kenyan police if you have the right attitude - and treat them with courtesy and respect. It is wise to remember that they are only doing their job as is the case in every country. If you have committed a traffic offence, then pay the on the spot fine and get the relevant paperwork.

    In all my years of driving in Kenya - and I have driven there since I first got my driving licence at the age of 18 - I have never had an unpleasant incident at a police road block. We always have our windows open as we approach a police road block and on the (rare) occasions that we do actually get stopped, we greet the officer with the Swahili courtesies, shake hands, comment on the weather and rain or lack of rain, answer their questions and show documentation if asked, and we are waved on. More often than not, we never get stopped at road blocks and, as I wave at the officers as we pass, we are saluted. Treat people as you would like to be treated yourselves - and keep to the speed limits.

    By the way, it is

    Jambo
    Habari yako? (how are you)
    When asked how you are - mzuri/salaama/safi or (if you speak "Sheng" (the young people's slang Swahili) you can say "poa"). But if were you, I would go for the simple "mzuri".
    Asante sana - thank you.

  6. The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to Wazungu Wawili For This Useful Post:


  7. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    UK
    Age
    62
    Posts
    1,560
    Thanked: 1043

    Default Re: Dealing with Road Blocks / Police

    And one more thing. The vehicle you are hiring will be classified as a commercial vehicle and the speed limit for those vehicles is 80kph. Moreover, as a tourist vehicle it is likely to also be classified as a Public Service Vehicle and the top speed of 80kph is more rigorously enforced for PSVs.

    Safari njema!

  8. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Wazungu Wawili For This Useful Post:


  9. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    Roodepoort
    Posts
    1,254
    Thanked: 904

    Default Re: Dealing with Road Blocks / Police

    No matter the circumstances, being jovially friendly and cooperatively respectful will take you further than any other behaviour in any situation.
    If the issue at hand is attempted extortion or a bribe, you can still be friendly and respectful without cooperating.

  10. The Following User Says Thank You to Rustie For This Useful Post:


  11. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Helsinki
    Age
    40
    Posts
    528
    Thanked: 47

    Default Re: Dealing with Road Blocks / Police

    Thanks WW & Rustie!

    It did not occur to me that the rental vehicle might be treated "with less leeway" - but yes I guess driving a game-viewing vehicle will for sure be seen as commercial/PSV We'll be super careful to abide with all the rules, as we usually are ... Thanks again!

  12. The Following User Says Thank You to cheetah80 For This Useful Post:


  13. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Location
    Nairobi
    Posts
    24
    Thanked: 7

    Default Re: Dealing with Road Blocks / Police

    To add on to what the others have said, have lived in Kenya for over 13 years now, and a recent trend that has occurred to avoid being "scammed" or "tricked" into fines that shouldn't really be fines, are dash cams. Had an incident happen just a few days ago, pulled over and the officer said that i did not have my indicator on when i did, instead of arguing with the officer i just pointed at my dash cam and said we can look at the footage, he said "have a good day" and let me go. Easily a situation that could have been a 30min argument, with me ending up with a fine, ended in seconds. I doubt this will happen as you get closer to Mara but within and around Nairobi it is likely. Dont be afraid to ask about the legality of a fine when you a presented with one. All officers are required to carry the traffic law book, and its okay to ask them to show where in the law book they are claiming their fine. Other than that i think youll be fine, during election most officers are around Nairobi anyway keeping peace, so i see no issue for you around the Mara area.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •