The Ministry of Transport has temporarily restricted commercial passenger vehicles with a capacity of more than seven passengers from using the Nairobi Expressway as they investigate the cause of recent accidents and develop appropriate safety measures.
Transport Cabinet Secretary (CS) James Macharia said that every life matters, and the government is keen to avoid unnecessary injuries and loss of lives and that the restriction takes effect immediately.
In a statement to newsrooms on Wednesday Macharia said that since the Nairobi Expressway was opened to the public, a number of traffic accidents and incidents involving commercial passenger vehicles have occurred on it. The accidents have necessitated an investigation into their cause so that appropriate safety interventions could be developed to ensure that commercial passenger vehicles use the expressway safely.
“His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta directed that the Nairobi Expressway be opened for public use on a trial basis. The Kenya National Highways Authority intends to use this trial period to monitor usage and make appropriate changes to improve safety and to enhance the experience of all road users,” said the CS.
Macharia explained that since the Expressway was opened to the public, there has been a gradual increase in traffic volumes with many road users expressing satisfaction with the Expressway. However, isolated safety incidents and road crashes have also been witnessed on the expressway.
“The following measures will therefore be instituted to enhance safety on the Nairobi Expressway and they include; installation of rumble strips to warn drivers to slow down as they approach the various toll gates and enforcement of speed limits: The maximum speed limit on all public roads in Kenya is 110km/h,” said the CS.
He explained that the Nairobi Expressway is clearly marked with the speed limits that are applicable to its various sections and all motorists are required by law to adhere to the stipulated speed limits.
“In this regard, we have, in collaboration with the Inspector General of Police, installed speed cameras to enhance the enforcement of speed limits. Further, traffic police will henceforth be stationed at various locations along the expressway, including toll stations,” he said.
Macharia added that the provisions of the Traffic Act would apply for those who do not observe stipulated speed limits and any person who contravenes or fails to comply with any of the provisions of Section 42 of the Traffic Act shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine of up to Sh100, 000.
“The Ministry of Transport continues to monitor operations on the Nairobi Expressway and will make necessary changes and improvements to enhance the experience of road users,” said Macharia.
By Joseph Ng’ang’a