Operation to streamline boda boda sub-sector launched

Nairobi Area Traffic Commander Joshua Omukata, calls for drastic measures on Bodaboda operators and unroadworthy vehicles, on February 10, 2022. [Edward Kiplimo, Standard]

If you are a boda boda operator in Nairobi, please follow the rules, which include carrying one pillion passenger at any given time, otherwise, trouble awaits you.

And for passengers, thou as well be warned; only one pillion passenger is allowed on a motorbike at a time. Passengers found sharing one bike will be arrested together with the rider, according to Nairobi Traffic Commandant Joshua Omukata who spoke while launching an operation to enhance the safety of riders, passengers, and pedestrians.

Statistics show the boda bodas are the biggest cause of accidents in the city.

"This year alone, at least 16 boda boda riders have died in accidents. This is, in addition, three pedal cyclists and eight passengers who have also died," said Omukata who spoke at Nairobi Area traffic headquarters on Thursday, where he was flanked by senior officers in charge of traffic across the city.

"The riders are supposed to carry one passenger at a time but they are doing the opposite and this is massively contributing to accidents,” he said.

"If nothing is done, many people will continue to die. That is why we, as the traffic officers, have decided to hit the road running."

The commandant said the operation is aimed at streamlining the boda boda sector which he described as notorious.

"They (riders) need to change their ways otherwise they will be arrested in the operation that is already underway and legal action taken against them. We will deal with offenders mercilessly," said Omukata.

"Passengers are also to blame. One wonders why passengers have to share one bike when we have so many bikes. That is why we will also be going for such passengers. The bike is meant to carry only one passenger at a time."

He said the operation will also target pedestrians crossing roads under footbridges. He stated that 32 pedestrians have lost their lives this month alone while 89 others have sustained serious injuries for refusing to use footbridges.

“The government has invested a lot of money in designing, developing, and constructing the footbridges for the purpose of ensuring pedestrians cross roads safely,” said Omukata.

The officer also sounded a warning against matatu drivers engaging in overlapping, especially Lang’ata road.

"Many cases of careless driving have been noted along Lang’ata road. This must stop. We are also calling on Kenyans to report traffic officers who demand bribes from motorists," Omukata said.

"Corruption is a serious matter and we will not condone it. People only talk about corruption among officers but no one wants to give us evidence to enable us  take action," he said.

“If you witness an officer collecting bribes, report to EACC and DCI offices that are all over, or to police stations and sub-county police officers."