By Boniface Gikandi and Nderitu Gichure
Kenya: The Traffic Police Department has recommended no licences should be issued to public service vehicles (PSV) operators during the forthcoming December festivities season.
Traffic Police Commandant Samuel Kimaru said the move is aimed at curbing road accidents, since new drivers have a tendency of plying routes they are not familiar with.
Addressing stakeholders in Murang’a town yesterday, Mr Kimaru advised PSV drivers to ply only designated routes.
Research, he said, has revealed that inexperienced drivers in a quest to make quick money ply routes they are not familiar with only to cause accidents.
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“With other stakeholders, we have agreed temporarily that PSV licences will not be issued during the coming festivities as a way to stop road carnage,” said Kimaru.
In another consultative meeting with stakeholders in Nyeri, Kimaru said more than 2,730 people have died in road accidents this year.
Most of the accidents were caused by careless driving and drunkenness. The stormy session brought together senior traffic police officers and matatu owners.
Kimaru asked the police to rein in on errant PSV drivers, as they were largely to blame for most of the accidents.
He said the department will soon introduce stricter guidelines, including withdrawing driving licences of drivers found violating the rules.
He added offenders’ PSV licences will also be withdrawn as punishment for errant drivers.
“There is a big problem in the traffic department but we have resolved to reign in rogue drivers who are killing Kenyans in big numbers. This is unacceptable and cannot be allowed to go on,” he said.
Kimaru further warned that the recently introduced Probox vehicles should not be used as PSV.
“A Probox is a private car and does not qualify as a matatu. It has no business operating as a PSV,” he said. Mr Patrick Mugwana, Nyeri Matatu Owners Association chairman termed mobile courts as a ground for corruption.