NAIROBI: Over the last few years, the Government has gone to great lengths to curb road carnage.
Stringent measures that sought to restore discipline on our roads were reinforced by the late minister for Transport John Michuki, whose no-nonsense approach made even the most unruly of touts pause and take notice.
We credit him for initiating order and ensuring drivers and conductors wear uniform. He also pushed public vehicles to carry the legal capacity.
Prior to that, the matatu industry was chaotic and operators appeared to adhere to their own unwritten code of conduct outside established laws. Before this, vehicles that were not roadworthy and which had not been inspected used to overload and speed in haste to make profit.
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The result was that road accidents which claimed thousands of lives annually became the norm rather than exception.
Following the introduction of speed governors that restrict public transporters to speeds of not more than 80 kilometers per hour and ban on night travel that has since been lifted, latest statistics from the National Transport and Safety Authority indicate the number of road accidents has reduced.
The number of accidents due to speeding and careless driving have equally gone down, which is a good thing. Efforts by the Government and other stakeholders to keep our roads safe must be applauded and supported by all Kenyans.
But a syndicate, whose target is to circumvent Government efforts in dealing with the problem on our roads, has come up and its main aim is to assist drivers tamper with speed governors.
It has been reported that the group charges between Sh2,500 and Sh3,500 to train and show drivers how to deactivate speed governors. The drivers are reportedly being shown how to restore the same to their original state whenever they see traffic police.
It is not in doubt that if this practice is not checked in time and the unscrupulous individuals apprehended, the number of road accidents will shoot up again.
The well-being of passengers should not be compromised in any way. The Government must do everything it can to stop this practice and ensure road safety.