There was drama along the busy Thika-Garissa road on Tuesday as public service vehicles found themselves face to face with traffic police officers out to nab unroadworthy vehicles that have been plying various routes within the town with outright impunity.
Drivers caught by surprise in the early morning crackdown abandoned their passengers on the road when flagged down by traffic police officers and took off on foot with others trying to bribe their way out of the dragnet of the unrelenting traffic police officers.
Under the command of the newly posted Traffic Base Commander Elenah Wamuyu Ndoria, the officers managed to arrest 6 drivers and towed their Matatus to Thika police station where motor vehicle inspection unit ripped off their number plates and slapped them with several traffic offences which included tampering with speed governors, operating without licenses, operating without registering with NTSA and modifying public service vehicles by fitting them with tractor tyres.
The crackdown comes in the wake of several complaints by members of the public who have been lamenting of the rogue mentality displayed by PSV operators within Thika Super-highway and in the outskirts of Thika town.
“Cases of accident by some of the Matatus operating within Thika town and its environs had been on the increase in the recent months with PSV operators buying their freedom without being arraigned in court,” lamented James Gathiya a motorist who was caught in the early morning melee.
“We are hoping the current crackdown will bear fruits as traffic police officers and the rogue Matatus are birds of the same feathers who have thrown all traffic regulations to the wind as commuters continue suffering unabated,” said Pauline Kihara who was caught up on her way to work.
Traffic officers posted in Thika have in the past found themselves under siege from matatu cartels that are so connected with most of them learning to look the other way in the face of maddening impunity and chaos on the road facilitated by cartels most of who are linked to powerful politicians who work in cahoots with National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) officers.
The recklessness and run-away impunity has surged with most of the arrested vehicles buying their freedom from rogue officers.
Ndoria however says she is committed to rooting out impunity in Thika which is covered up by untouchable cartels. “I cannot sit in the office, at a capacity of a full commander as motorists suffer on the road. My mission here is to root out impunity and restore sanity in the transport sector in Thika and its environs,” she said.
Addressing press, Thika police boss Willy Simba confirmed that traffic police department will continue with crackdowns to nab unroadworthy public service vehicles until they all comply with traffic rules and regulations.
He sounded a stern warning to PSV vehicles plying the various roads within Thika Sub-County and has failed to comply with traffic rules saying that it will not be business as usual.
The OCPD called for support from all the stakeholders within the Public transport sector and the Thika law courts to ensure that sanity is restored on the roads. Some of the PSV vehicles apprehended are from Thika falls, 2TS and 254 Saccos.