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Govt extends reforms deadline for boda bodas




Boda boda operators in Nairobi. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Boda boda operators now have more time to acquire driving licences, insurance and protective gear after the government extended the deadline by three months to May 1 next year.

Speaking when he met motorbike operators alongside his Interior counterpart, Fred Matiang’i, Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia said the extension will ensure that the more than 700,000 riders across the country comply.

Matiang’i had last month directed that they all must comply with public transport requirements by February 1 or risk arrests.

“We are aware that there is a process that is required and that is why we have agreed amongst ourselves to extend the period to May 1,” Mr Macharia said today.

The Transport CS added that the government, through the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA), will in the next four months undertake rigorous training for the riders to ensure that they do not acquire licences fraudulently.

Motorbike operators had requested the State for an extension arguing that it would be difficult to acquire the licences and insurance in January when they are also required to pay school fees for their children.

Acquisition of a driving license requires at least Sh9,000 and up to Sh12,000 while insurance cover costs Sh9,000, making it a challenge for most riders who get loans to buy their motorcycles.

The government’s tough stance on the sector comes amid increasing pressure to control boda boda operators who account for the second highest number of head-on collisions in the country.

Data by NTSA shows that out of 461 head-on collisions recorded between 2015 to last year, motorbike operators accounted for 27 per cent behind saloon cars that caused 28 per cent of the collisions.

Their disorderly manner of operations also poses danger to other road users like pedestrians, public and private motorists.