Head of Traffic Operations in Nairobi Vitalis Otieno says police will soon launch an operation to deal with truant drivers 'without mercy'

Residents of Nairobi are frustrated over the return of matatu madness in some routes in the city and are calling on the government to act and restore sanity in the sector.

The residents said that on many routes, matatus carry excess passengers, charge abnormally high fares, 'steal' customer change, play excessively loud music and are arrogant to passengers and other road users.

They are now calling for the return of 'Michuki rules' to restore sanity on the roads. Speaking to the Nairobian, PSV users said the Michuki rules are normally violated during rush hours in the morning and evening.

"In the morning and evening people are rushing to work or getting back from work. Children are going to school or returning home and that is when most matatus carry excess passengers beyond their limits," said Mary Lubanga, a city resident.

Stephen Radoli, another resident, said traffic rules are violated when matatus pick up passengers along the way.

Michuki rules were introduced in 2014 by then Transport Minister John Michuki. They required all Public Service Vehicles to install seat belts, paint a yellow line and carry passengers strictly based on their capacity. The rules helped to maintain order in public transport.

However, the Head of Traffic Operations in Nairobi, Vitalis Otieno, has said police will soon launch an operation to arrest matatu operators flouting traffic rules.

He said they will also impound their vehicles and take violators to court to be charged with offenses of flouting traffic rules.

"We are not going to allow matatus to flout the traffic rules, and I am warning those going against the rules that their days are numbered. We will deal with them without mercy," warned the traffic police boss.

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