NTSA bows to demands from matatu operators, averts countrywide strike

Matatu operators had planned a countrywide strike if NTSA did not heed their demands

Police & NTSA take over matatu safety to prevent spread of Covid-19

The government has suspended a multi agency crackdown on public service vehicles that had been going on across the country.

The crackdown was suspended on Wednesday, March 16 after consultations between the National Transport and Safety Authority and leaders of PSV associations.

The crackdown that started in February saw the return of NTSA officers on the major highways as the government sought to bring sanity to the roads.

The Rapid Result Initiative (RRI) on road traffic enforcement operation is set to target all forms of non-compliance to the Traffic Act and relevant regulations,” read a statement from government spokesperson Cyrus Oguna at the time.

The crackdown was targeting public service vehicles, private motorists, commercial drivers, boda boda operators, tuktuks as well as pedestrians.

Police officers had been enforcing all regulations, from major offences to small traffic violations.

Matatu operators had announced a countrywide strike starting on Wednesday, accusing NTSA of unwarranted traffic checks.

They argued that matatu owners were forced to part with between Sh5,000 and Sh20,000 after harrasment from traffic officers.

"We demand that govt intervenes on this matter and stops its officials from harassing and extorting money from our members forthwith, failure to which we shall on our PSV operators from the country, withdraw their vehicles from the road countrywide with effect from Wednesday, March, 16," a statement from the PSV association leaders stated.

Matatu Owners Association chairperson Simon Kimutai termed the crackdown as a failure by regulators who are supposed to ensure compliance.

We feel that whereas the intention of the senior managers is good, the enforcers on the ground are there to make money through intimidation and utter demand for bribes. At the moment, we have not withdrawn our vehicles from the road but if the situation persists, we will decide if to enter into a grand halt,” Matatu Welfare Association chairman Dickson Mbugua said.

Some of the offences that the traffic officers had been monitoring include;

PSV Crackdown

1. Operating without a valid Road Service Licence (RSL)

2. Operating expired/without a PSV badge

3. Operating without a uniform

4. Operating without a driver’s licence

5. Operating without a reflective jacket

6. Operating without a helmet

7. Operating uninsured motor vehicle

8. Excess pillion passengers

9. Worn out tyres

10. Contravening insurance

11. Defective motor vehicle

12. Exceeding the speed limit

13. Operating without an inspection sticker

14. Operating without a speed governor

15. Unroadworthy motor vehicle

16. Obstruction, reckless driving and lane indiscipline.

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