• April 20, 2024
  • Last Update April 20, 2024 7:31 PM
  • Nairobi

Matatu Owners’ body calls for monthly road safety campaigns

Matatu Owners’ body calls for monthly road safety campaigns


Thursday March 28, 2024,

KNA By Rolex Omondi and Stanley Kayaga

The Matatu Owners Association(MOA) has called for a concerted and collaborative monthly National Road Safety Campaigns to reduce the rampant road carnage across the country.

MOA President Albert Karagacha emphasised that the exercise should have a multi-prong approach with the involvement of the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) and other stakeholders like the Kenya Red Cross Society.

“The road clinics initiative will educate drivers, and significantly reduce the number of matatu crackdowns on Public Service (PSV), matatus and traffic-related court cases. The crackdowns have highly affected our businesses and we are ready to sit down with the State Agencies to promote road safety,’’ Karagacha observed.

Speaking during a Road Safety Campaign held at the Kisumu Bus Terminus, he revealed that they have held similar clinics in Meru, Nyeri, and Nairobi. Their next stops in the coming days will be Kakamega, Bungoma, Kitale and countrywide.

The matatu operator boss implored drivers to desist from drunk driving, speeding, and carrying excess passengers and adhere to laid down traffic rules to safeguard the precious lives of passengers.

Moving forward and to work efficiently, Karagacha appealed to the traffic police to deal with registered Matatu Saccos and not individual vehicle owners or drivers when handling traffic offences.

He further advised fellow operators to avoid carrying excess passengers and failing to stop when flagged down by a traffic police officer. Nyanza Regional Traffic Officer, Allan Mwangi cautioned motorists against speeding and to always strive to ensure that their vehicles are road compliant.

“Don’t run away when you are stopped by the traffic police officer, avoid carrying excess passengers, and drunk driving. We are not your enemies and we would like to work together with the matatu saccos,’’ Mwangi said.

Echoing similar sentiments, Edwin Binale, the NTSA Vehicle Inspection Officer emphasised that the inspection exercises they always carry out aren’t based on enmity, but to ensure that the vehicles are roadworthy, and have competent drivers who possess valid documents.

“We also advise passengers not to board overloaded vehicles and pedestrians should be on the lookout for zebra crossings, footbridges and walkaways,’’ Binale advised.

He also called upon the matatu owners to ensure that their vehicles are fitted with speed governors to hugely reduce the upward rise of road accidents and protect the passengers’ lives. One of the key highlights of the event was the voluntary inspection of about 200 PSV vehicles by NTSA.

The exercise not only ensured good working conditions for vehicles but also served as a platform to highlight the importance of regular maintenance in preventing accidents caused by mechanical faults.

The MOA boss also presented a 14-seater van worth Sh 3.5m as a gift to the MOA-Kisumu donated by GB Auto. He further promised to add three more vehicles in the next month through a collaboration with Kenya Commercial Bank.

“We urge you to operate and manage it well to uplift your living standards and ensure that you buy more. Currently, we are also working on how to ensure all the youths at the Kisumu Bus Park get the PSV Badges,’’ Karakacha stressed.

MOA Kisumu Region Chairman Charles Obuya thanked the NTSA, Traffic Police and the KRC for a successful road drive to create more awareness.

“Most of our matatus cost not less than Sh 4M and when an accident occurs, it always goes with the winds thus leaving us much poorer. Let us continue working together to reduce deaths and be mindful of other road users,’’ Obuya said.

Affirming this position, Kisumu Bus Terminus Chairman Shem Ochuodho said that they are trying to streamline matatu operations.They always sit down and consult as matatu Saccos and companies on how to implement new traffic laws.

“As matatu transport operators we need to work together without upholding tribalism and help change the negative attitude towards the sector,’’ Karakacha remarked.

Courtesy; KNA

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