Hundreds of commuters were on Thursday stranded for several hours following a major crackdown by officers from National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) backed by traffic police officers on Public Service Vehicles (PSV) plying major routes into and from Garissa town.
During the early morning operation over 50 vehicles were nabbed with different traffic offenses, including lack of inspection certificates ands and insurance.
Some drivers and their conductors were arrested and taken to Garissa police station and were to appear in court to face different charges.
Matatu owners who got wind of the operation and had not complied immediately withdrew their vehicles to avoid being impounded.
The crackdown created an unanticipated crisis to all commuters who were forced to scramble for the few matatus which had complied with the regulations.
The Garissa sub-county police boss, Edward Masibo said the operation will continue until all un-roadworthy vehicles are removed out of the roads.
“We want restore sanity in our roads and this can only be done through such crackdowns. I want to urge matatu owners to ensure their vehicles have the relevant papers before they start operating,” Masibo said.
“They (matatu owners) should be responsible citizens and comply with the transport regulations. Some of the vehicles are not worthy to be on our roads as they put the lives of Kenyans at risk,” he added.
The police boss said that the crackdown also targeted school buses and vans.
“We want to guarantee the safety of our children as they start the New Year in school from Monday next week,” he insisted.
By Jacob Songok