Matatu drivers, motorists and passengers charged in court

Kisumu Central Base Commander Jane Mbevi inspects seat belts in one of the PSVs in Kisumu yesterday. [Denish Ochieng, Standard]
Hundreds of motorists were yesterday arrested, charged and fined for various traffic offences as police enforced road safety rules.

Speaking when he accompanied Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i on a visit to the motor vehicle inspection unit in Nairobi, Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet said those arrested and charged included owners of private cars and public service vehicle operators.

“Close to 2,000 offenders have been arrested… these include matatu operators, operators of private vehicles and even users of Public Service Vehicles,” said Mr Boinnet.

The figures were expected to increase as the operation went on till last night.

Those arrested were taken to court, where they were fined between Sh500 and Sh10,000.

Police announced that touts arrested from various bus stops would face serious charges.

“They will be profiled as we decide the charges... This means they have to spend a night in cells,” said Matiangi.

 Comply or keep off

Boinnet asked PSV drivers and motorcycle riders to comply with the traffic regulations or keep off the roads.

In Nakuru, 22 passengers and 12 drivers had been charged with various offences by the time of going to press last evening.

Most passengers were charged with failing to wear seat belts.

Matatu drivers who were arraigned faced charges of obstruction, carrying excess passengers, failing to wear seat belts, driving without a driving licence and failing to carry their driving licence.

Others faced charges of failing to wear uniforms as per the Traffic Act requirement, exceeding the set speed limit and failing to display portraits as drivers.

Motor cycle operators faced charges of failing to provide their pillion passengers with helmets and reflectors and also operating the motorcycles without permits.

By 2pm yesterday, more than 100 people had been charged with various offences in Eldoret.

Sources had it that there were about 200 others who were in the cells, waiting to be arraigned.

The suspects appeared before Eldoret Senior Principal Magistrate Harrison Baraza and were individually accused with committing various offences.

In Kisumu, 25 traffic cases had been reported by noon on the first day of the crackdown.

Chief Magistrate Julius Ng’ar Ng’ar fined Ian Otieno, a matatu driver, Sh7,000 for allegedly trying to escape from the traffic police officers in Kisumu.

He was carrying excess passengers, some who did not wear seat belts.

In Kakamega, 70 motorists were arrested. Many of them were boda boda riders and matatu drivers.

Riders who were found with uninsured motorcycles were fined Sh3,000 with an alternative of two-months imprisonment.

Pleaded guilty

Most of the offenders pleaded guilty to their offences before Kakamega Senior Resident Magistrate Erick Malesi.

Those who failed to wear helmets were fined Sh1,000, with an option of serving 30 days in jail.

In Meru, more than 20 motorists were charged and fined between Sh2,000 and Sh25,000 for  traffic offences.

Chief Magistrate Hannah Ndung’u warned that offenders should expect more punitive penalties in future, for the sake of restoring order in public roads.

In Nyeri, motorists arrested were not taken to court.

[Report by Cyrus Ombati, Julius Chepkwony, Audrey Ngeny, Mary Otieno, Jack Murima and Wainaina Ndung’u]

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