Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i on Tuesday unveiled The new generation number plates
According to the Interior CS, the existing car number plates lack adequate security features, making it difficult for enforcement agencies to identify swapped plates or illegal ones from backstreet enterprises.
Matiang’i has hailed the new ones as the masterstroke that will make things difficult for not just terrorists but also motorverhicle theft syndicates thriving in duplication and faking of number plates.
While citing the 2019 DusitD2 complex attack in Nairobi, the CS said had Kenya been using the smart number plates, it would have been easy to nab the militants before the attack.
“When we were hit during Dusit d2, it was because terrorists gained vehicles and acquired number plates in a fraudulent manner, and it was very difficult to trace them within the time they were around,” said Matiang’i.
So, what is it about the new plates which makes it hard to dodge the law?
For beginners, the plates use the FE-Schrift typeface, which is a sans serif typeface introduced in the late 1970s for use on licence plates.
Its monospaced letters and numbers are slightly disproportionate to prevent easy modification and to improve machine readability.
Besides the unique template, the new plates have a specially-imprinted national flag, a hologram imprinted on it, and a watermark.
They will also have unique and different serial numbers – for both the rear and front plates – that is linked to the vehicle’s chassis number.
The smart plates are easily identifiable to law enforcement officers and will also store key motor vehicle information such as year of manufacturer, type and color of vehicle, engine number, transmission type, date and place of manufacture, and insurance details.
According to Matangi, this will nab criminals who have been swapping registration plates to carry out their activities without being caught.
“Criminals have been driving cars around with smart number plates that were initially issued to tractors. There are many bankers that have been left holding logbooks registered in a fraudulent manner since they cannot trace the vehicles used as collateral,” he said.
Additionally, the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) says the new plates will incorporate microchip technology and several anti-counterfeit security features that will render them practically impossible to imitate.
They will also have unique and different serial numbers – for both the rear and front plates – that are linked to the vehicle’s chassis number.
The smart plates are easily identifiable to law enforcement officers and will also store key motor vehicle information such as year of manufacturer, type and colour of vehicle, engine number, transmission type, date and place of manufacture, and insurance details.