Eldoret Matatu Sacco officials have urged Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i to intensify the crackdown on Public Service Vehicles that have not complied with Michuki Rules.
Their call comes as police in the town warned non-compliant PSV owners operating at night to escape the police that they will be arrested.
The Sacco bosses said the matatu business is booming and non-compliant PSVs not managed by Saccos remain out of the roads.
The nationwide crackdown on non-compliant vehicles started on November 12, and slowed down for a week when matatu owners were given time to comply.
Nyaru Matatu Sacco chairman David Kiptalam said 96 per cent of PSVs under their Sacco have complied with Michuki Rules and are operating without hindrance from traffic cops.
“Out of the 60 PSVs under our Sacco, only three have not complied. We were asked to employ experienced drivers because we are not classified as town service. We are required to hire drivers with an experience of not less than five years,” Kiptalam, whose Sacco operates the Eldoret-Keiyo South-Baringo route, told The Standard.
He said the decision by owners of non-compliant PSVs to park their vehicles has reduced traffic jam.
Timothy Kipruto, the chairman of Kerio Prestige matatu Sacco operating on the Eldoret-Iten-Kabarnet route said, “As Saccos, we praise CS Matiang’i for ordering the crackdown. We are working closely with traffic police to ensure owners of faulty, non-compliant PSVs are not back on our routes.”
He continued, “Most of the non-compliant matatus are owned by businesspeople that don’t respect the law and are out to taint the good image of compliant matatus.”
Kipruto said 80 per cent of matatus under the sacco have complied with the transport rules.
Uasin Gishu County police commander Augustus Nthumbi said regular police officers are being deployed to help their traffic counterparts in pursuing non-compliant matatus.
Nthumbi told The Standard some of the non-compliant PSVs return to the roads at night and wee hours of the morning. They are faulty and pose a risk to passengers, he added.
“Some of the matatu operators are playing some cat and mouse games with us but we are determined to restore sanity in transport,” the police boss said.
Records at the Eldoret traffic command office show more than 600 non-compliant PSVs were impounded, operators taken to court, fined, released and ordered to comply.