Kenya: Mutyambai Warns Matatus Over Reckless Driving

Inspector-General of Police Hilary Mutyambai has put unruly public service vehicles (PSV) operators along the busy Thika Road on notice.

These warnings come even as the matatu crews fight off accusations of increasingly endangering lives for refusing to use service lanes to safely disgorge passengers from their vehicles.

Mutyambai warned Saccos against the emerging culture of impunity and lawlessness that pose a grave risk to public safety and security.

The police boss was responding to a question during his weekly #EngageTheIG, on Twitter after being asked by a tweep to respond to about Thika Road matatu menace.

"I have taken note of this. We are taking the necessary action. Stern action will be taken against Saccos whose members are found flouting the traffic rules," he said.

I have taken note of this. We are taking necessary action. Stern action will be taken against Saccos whose members are found flouting the traffic rules. @paulKmungai @mycsaine #EngageTheIG

-- Hilary N. Mutyambai, MGH, nsc (AU). (@IG_NPS) August 2, 2021

But this is not the first time the government is making such attempts to restore sanity in the sector as previous efforts by Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang'i proved futile.

PSVs plying the Superhighway has for years been inconveniencing other motorists as they refuse to use the designated service lanes which have speed bumps and spacious bus stops, preferring to slow down on the highway itself and let commuters alight and jump onto the kerb.

At the end they create logjams, but it also risks the lives of passengers, who must negotiate a service lane to get to the other side.

As a result, an unknown number of travellers have been knocked down on the highway with deadly results.

On the city-bound carriageway, the most notorious spot is the Mathari Hospital footbridge, where dozens of passengers are dangerously left to disembark right on the highway.

Ironically, it is just next to a police station. On the outbound lanes, PSVs also leave their passengers on the highway at the Kenya School of Monetary Studies footbridge, and the footbridge at Garden City and TRM.

Oftentimes, there are traffic police officers a stone's throw away.

Reached for comment, both the Kenya National Highways Authority (Kenha) and the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) absolved themselves of any blame, instead pointing accusing fingers at the traffic police department.

"What is the work of traffic police? We provide and maintain the infrastructure but another body is in charge of what you are asking for. We are equally frustrated. Take your question to the right person," said former Kenha Director-General Peter Mundinia.

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