17 April 2019

Kenya: Police Launch Nationwide Traffic Crackdown Ahead of Easter Festivities

Drivers of Public Service Vehicles risk losing their licenses if caught flouting traffic rules during Easter period, the government has warned as it unveiled measures aimed at reducing accidents and fatalities.

Speaking to journalists in a joint press briefing of the National Police Service and the National Transport and Safety Authority at the Police headquarters in Nairobi, Police Spokesman Charles Owino said that the licenses of those found drink-driving, driving outside licensed hours, driving uninspected vehicles and those plying routes that they are not licensed on will be revoked as the two bodies work to make the roads safer.

"Most accidents take place at night and you will find that most of these are caused by people who do not know that area well because they do not ply that route," Mr Owino said. He urged PSV operators to resist the urge to carry passengers to destinations they are not licensed to travel to.

Teams of traffic officers will be deployed to the major highways including Mombasa, Eldoret, Busia and Malaba.

PETTY OFFENCES

Mr Owino directed traffic officers to avoid harassing and inconveniencing motorists over small and petty offences.

"Sometimes you will find a motorist is being harassed because of dirty seat belts. If the seat belt is serving its purpose then the driver should be let go. Officers should also give reasonable cash bails," Mr Owino said. He urged motorists to cooperate with police officers and obey traffic rules.

Fatalities experienced over the Easter holidays in previous years have been increasing, causing concern among traffic authorities.

In 2016, 26 people died in road accidents; in 2017, there were 36 fatalities and 37 in 2018.

Mr Owino added that due to the fact that churches and hotels are expected to be very busy even during the nights during the holiday, there will be more security patrols at night.

He said that the country's security forces were ready for any eventuality that may arise during the festive period. He, however, declined to speak any about the purported terrorist threats on the country.

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