The Star (Nairobi)

Kenya: Observe Rules to Curb Road Deaths, Matatu Drivers Told

Traffic police in Murang'a yesterday appealed to Matatu drivers to observe rules and avoid speeding to curb accidents.

Speaking during a free vehicle inspection exercise, Traffic boss Silas Ondiema said speeding and disregard for traffic rules is to blame for increasing road accidents.

He said the government wants to ensuring that roads are safe by engaging all the stakeholder and enforcing rules.

Close to 300 matatus will be checked in the exercise in which has been welcomed by industry players.

Motor vehicle inspectors from Thika assisted by Ondiema oversaw the operation.

"This is a free vehicle inspection clinic initiated by the government aimed at helping reduce road carnage and casualties especially in the matatu industry," said Ondiema.

"Many of these matatus do not have up to date insurance cover, seat belts and speed governors among other things and they must comply," said the traffic officer.

Matatus in the area have in the past undergone voluntary and free motor vehicle checkups with traffic officers advising the operators on problems detected in their vehicles a move that the traffic boss said has contributed to declined accidents in the area.

In a rare occurrence, matatu drivers and touts willingly obeyed traffic officers who were mobilizing them for the exercise and they halted their normal operations to attend the motor vehicle clinic. They freely mingled with the law enforcers.

At the same time the traffic officer said his office will see to it that that matatus from Nairobi which ply the route during the December festivities will not do so this time.

While responding to fears from the drivers that the new matatus which over crowd the route during the festivities Ondiema said he will ensure that the vehicles will be denied a temporarily TLB license to operate in the route.

The operators feared that the Matatus are driven recklessly and have been blamed for causing fatal accidents during the past festivities.

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