New laws to tame boda boda on the way: Matiang’i

The government plans to make it mandatory for all motorcycle dealers to sell a safety kit together with the cycles. [Standard]

A task force that was established to spearhead reforms in the boda boda sector is expected to table its report next month.

The team was to table the report on February 1 but the date was moved to May 1.

The team is supposed to oversee implementation of the recommendations they have arrived at on policy, legal and administrative reforms, regarding public motorcycle transport.

Cabinet Secretaries Fred Matiang’i and James Macharia had in February met National Assembly’s Parliamentary Committee on Transport and the task force, before pushing the date to May 1.

SEE ALSO :Wheeler-killers: Boda bodas are new death traps

“We agreed to extend the moratorium on the recommendations by the task force on boda boda reforms from February 1, 2019 to May 1, 2019,” said Dr Matiang’i.

He noted the extension was to provide the team ample time to organise a national convention on these matters before the recommendations take effect.

According to Matiang’i, the stakeholders requested for more time to engage with the task force in order to provide meaningful solutions to challenges such as the issuance of the motorcycle licenses and insurance affordability.

Reforms

The two CSs said the reforms are meant to be helpful, not stressful, and therefore constructive conversations between government and the boda boda fraternity are encouraged.

Macharia said the extension is in the interest of giving all stakeholders a fair chance to present their views for consideration, before implementation.

SEE ALSO :There is need to put an end to the rising boda boda menace

The 12-member task force was to among other duties examine the existing policy, institutional, legislative and administrative systems governing public service motorcycle sector.

They are also required to compile comprehensive data regarding safety, reliability, cost and other matters of interest to consumers.

The move comes at a time when security organs have decried the involvement of boda boda riders in facilitating crime across the country.

A raft of tough new rules are on the way to tame boda boda operators in the country, which will among others  things ensure every operator has a safety kit, which will include a helmet, reflector and heavy jacket.

The government plans to make it mandatory for all motorcycle dealers to sell the kit together with the cycles.

SEE ALSO :Criminals become bolder as boda bodas mushroom

Further, the operators especially those in public service will be required to register in Saccos. They will also be required to pay for National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF).

There are estimated 700,000 operators and projections are that the number will hit one million soon.

The NHIF cover will enable them get medical treatment.

Further, the National Transport Safety Authority will be required to digitally register the riders and issue them with a chip that will identify them.

All boda boda operators have to acquire training, get certification, wear helmets among other safety measures before they start operating.

SEE ALSO :Bikes create jobs and boost growth

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boda bodaJames MachariaFred Matiang’iNational Assembly’s Parliamentary Committee on transportTransport