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Drivers: Kenyan traffic laws increase bribe size

Wednesday - 12/12/2012, 10:50am  ET

Associated Press

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) -- Traffic bribes are a way of life for many Kenyan drivers. One dollar here, $5 there. But the drivers of the rowdy minibuses say Kenya's new traffic laws, which carry higher fines and bigger jail sentences, will result primarily in one thing: higher bribes.

Driving in Kenya is a nightmarish experience. Few intersections have stoplights or stop signs, creating a snarly mess. And drivers of the minibuses, or matatus, drive on the wrong side of the road.

The new law, which went into effect Saturday, increases fines and jail terms for lawless driving.

Matatu Owners Association Chairman Simon Kimutai said immediately after the new laws came into effect police began demanding higher bribes. Police used to ask for $2, he said. Now they want $11 for a minor offense and $117 for a major offense.

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