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Police chopper to help rid city of incessant traffic snarl ups

By | January 7th 2010

By Cyrus Ombati

Police have now resorted to using a helicopter in clearing traffic jams in Nairobi, which have been overwhelming in the past three days.

Nairobi PPO Antony Kibuchi said yesterday use of the chopper would enhance fast response from traffic personnel to where jams are, to open them.

He said the city has been experiencing unprecedented traffic jams, which last several hours. The chopper yesterday made several rounds in the city in efforts to clear the problem.

To address the problem, traffic personnel have also been mobilised and posted to various junctions to control the flow of the vehicles.

Mr Kibuchi said police on the helicopter would be liaising with those on the ground on where they spot traffic snarl-ups in efforts to respond to the scene.

"We have also been noticed the situation and have taken various measures to address it. The chopper will also be used in crime detection and fighting," he said.

Private cars

Nairobi Area Traffic Commandant Patrick Lumumba said the situation was created after several motorists resorted to private cars when matatu operators downed their tools.

"The situation has been chaotic but we are trying to control it. We hope with the return of matatus most of the motorists will abandon their cars," he said.

He added that traffic police had been ordered to go to their workstations earlier than before as part of strategies to address the situation.

The problem worsened on Tuesday evening when President Kibaki was arriving from Mombasa. Most roads were closed to allow Presidential motorcade to pass, which created a pileup.

Some motorists have complained that they arrive home late due to the jams. Police also hope the completion of the construction of the bypasses will help to ease traffic jams that are increasingly becoming chaotic.

The construction of most of the bypasses is yet to start.

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