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Crackdown on PSVs to continue, says Fred Matiang’i

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By COLLINS OMULO
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Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i has said that the crackdown on matatus, which has recorded 40,000 traffic offences, will continue.

He added that the crackdown will be even more stringent going forward before focus turns to boda-boda operators.

Dr Matiang’i said that the government wants to see zero fatalities during the festive period, vowing to ensure that only compliant public service vehicles remain on the roads while non-compliant ones are impounded and grounded at police stations.

“This is not an exercise for a month or two. It will continue until we have only law-abiding people on the roads and compliance becomes our way of life. We are not ready to be woken up in the middle of the night that a vehicle has been involved in accident being driven by a 70-something-year-old person,” said Dr Matiang’i on Wednesday.

He was speaking during a public transport consultative forum with various stakeholders in the sector at KICC.

Dr Matiang’i said the public transport sector must be reformed, promising a tough 12 months ahead before the government turns its focus on boda-bodas, having signed a gazette notice on a task force that will prepare a report within 60 days on how to reform and regulate the boda-boda industry.

“We want to teach them to operate in an orderly manner as they are one of the major causes of accidents in the country. We all have to style up and follow the law or stay at home. This is not a gangland where you can operate the way you want,” he said.

The CS asked the National Transport and Safety Authority to prepare a booklet detailing all the charges that they are liable to if they do not comply.

“Prepare a document clearly showing what we are checking for when we stop a vehicle and place it everywhere for transparency,” he said.

Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia echoed his counterpart’s sentiments, saying that the ministry will continue with the operation until total discipline is achieved.

“The tough laws are here because we have failed at self-regulation but we shall not relent until full discipline becomes our culture,” said Mr Macharia.

He added that companies building vehicle bodies found not compliant with the KS-372 body-building standards will have their plants closed down as from today as they have been blamed for deaths of passengers, with the toll already about 3,000 this year.

“From today any company found constructing passenger vehicles without complying with the approved standards will be closed down. We must talk candidly and agree as stakeholders on how to improve the quality,” he said.

Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho said that the ministry has launched anonymous toll free reporting systems — including the toll-free number 0800721230, free SMS number 40683 and a USSD code *683# to report on any malpractices by traffic officers on the road.

“We will continue with the crackdown as we are committed to seeing zero deaths during the festive season,” said Dr Kibicho.

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