Crackdown on PSVs will be painful, warns State

Public Service Vehicles (PSVs) operators should brace themselves for a major crackdown starting Monday.

The government has announced crackdown starting next week to bring order and weed out all faulty PSVs from the Kenyan roads.

In a  statement of changed approach, top government officials Friday vowed to restore order in the public transport sector.

Interior Cabinet secretary Dr Fred Matiang’i and his Transport counterpart James Macharia declared determination to bring sanity to the transport sector, notorious for lawlessness, disorder and corruption, saying PSV operators have been given sufficient time to comply.

Matiang’i said the government is embarking on a long-term journey towards restoring order in the sector and warned of arrests of those who fail to comply with the law. Statistics from National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA)  indicate that at least 3,000 lives are lost in Kenya every year to road accidents.

As at last week, the number stood at 2,626 people while 3,922 were seriously injured and another 4,400 slightly injured.

Ninety-two per cent of the fatalities arise from human error with the highest cases of accidents mainly reported over the weekends in Nairobi, Kiambu, Nakuru and Machakos.

Consequently, both CSs also said the government will reign in on rogue insurance companies over failure to compensate accident victims. “We must change and we are going to change because we cannot live this way. It will not be a walk in the park, it will be a tough journey or else we will lose the country. This lawlessness has to come to an end,” said Matiang’i.

“Expect more arrests, we have to end the anarchy on our roads. We will be ruthless and firm to bring order, no one has told us it will be easy but we are ready to face the challenge and for those moving to court we will meet you there,” he said.

They spoke jointly while briefing Regional and County Commanders on measures taken to improve road safety and new policies and rules ahead of the crackdown on non-compliant PSVs and operators.

This comes against the backdrop of National Assembly Committee on Transport led by Pokot South MP David Pkosing urging the police to take charge of the disarray in the transport sector.

An audit conducted by the committee about two months ago found that about 500 people died between July and August in road accidents. They are to conduct another audit in December.

Pkosing however, said the committee has been engaging Inspector General of Police, Joseph Boinnet to ensure the menace is dealt with and accidents reduced.

Traffic police were directed to spare no one, with Boinnet issuing Regional and County Commanders to enforce the law without fear or favour.

Boinnet said he will hold Regional and County Commanders responsible if there is laxity in their respective areas of jurisdiction.

Starting Monday 6.00am, traffic police are expected to lead the process to rid bus stops of the so-called ‘squads’ who are said to demand money menacingly.

The matatus must have a valid PSC from NTSA and those without a Sacco will also be apprehended. PSVs must not only have functional speed governors but must also have clean working seat belts in addition to a valid inspection certificate.

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