Automobile Association of Kenya (AAK), the largest motoring club in the country, is investing more in promoting and safeguarding the interests of motorists through a broad range of services.
It was founded in 1919 by Galton-Fenzi started negotiating for loan of cars to be tested under EA conditions and received several vehicles among them Riley 12/50 from Riley Motor Car Co of Coventry, UK. He used the car to pioneer a road from Nairobi to Mombasa in 1926 – 800 miles.
In the earlier years AA of Kenya was known for the Safari Rally Championships. The Association is working with other FIA and other stakeholders to have the event brought back on the international championship events.
The Association that is affiliated to France based Federation Internationale de L’ Automobile (FIA) which represents over 100 million motorists worldwide, has embarked on strengthening its service provision that includes; learner driver training, roadside assistance, information and advise about the purchase, maintenance and repair of vehicles, defensive driving training, International Driving Permits, Carnet de Passage and negotiations on attractive insurance premiums for members through it’s subsidiary, the AA Insurance Brokers..
To keep in line with the new curriculum introduced late last year by the National Transport and Safety Authority, AAK has also invested in improving its Driving Instructors competencies and has adopted the curriculum which covers introduction to driving, , fundamental driving rules, model town board/highway code, human factors in traffic, vehicle control and practical driving skills among other course contents.
“As AA our concern is safety on our roads. We offer guidance on quality driving instruction and licensing. We work closely with NTSA and other like-minded road safety stake holders to ensure there is safety in Kenyan roads,” says Francis Theuri, AAK Director General.
AA’s mission is to make the motoring safe and as such has had major contribution to road safety through its various road safety programmes in partnership with NTSA and other stakeholders. The Safe Walk to School, a road safety program for children has seen hundreds of children trained on road safety which covers use of protective gear while cycling, safety cycling, safe use of the road, road signs among others.
Other successful road safety programs include the Msamaria Mwema Road Safety campaign conducted in partnership with St John Ambulance and Matatu Owners Association to equip matatu drivers with lifesaving First Aid skills and Defensive Driving, Save Kids Lives, among others.
This year, the Association in partnership with NTSA and other stakeholders will be conducting a capacity building training for matatu drivers in First Aid and Defensive Driving training. It will continue to partner with road safety stakeholders to ensure that the motoring space in Kenya is safe for all road users.
In order to equip its trainees well, the Association uses NTSA course handbooks like the Highway Code, Traffic Act, as well as learner’s handbooks for light and professional drivers, truck drivers and motorcycle riders. The books, says Mr Theuri, covers both theoretical learning, practical training and examinations.
AAK was founded in 1919 by Lionel Douglas as the Royal East African Automobile Association.. To diversify its services, the organization started operating a driving school in 1962 then operated by ex-British army men who instilled discipline in the training. AA has maintained the discipline to date making it one of the driving school offering comprehensive driver training.
Currently, the association has over 30,000 members and 26 branch offices in all major towns countrywide.