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Kenyans urged to report reckless drivers

Machakos residents have been urged to report careless drivers operating PSVs while drunk and contravening the traffic rules, especially during the festive season, to avoid accidents and loss of lives.

Speaking to the media in her office, Machakos County Executive (CECM) for Roads, Transport, and Public Works Rita Ndunge said that passengers should be alert and report incidents of reckless behaviour on the road by the drivers.

Ndunge also warned drivers of PSVs and private cars to exercise caution on the roads and observe the stipulated traffic rules, adding that the county will partner with the relevant authorities and deal with the careless drivers through crackdowns.

“We are going to partner with the police and the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) so that they arrest the drivers who violate traffic rules and bring them to book,” said Ndunge.

Collins Kithaka, who has been a driver plying the Machakos-Nairobi route for several years, while speaking to KNA, said that overloading and carrying excess passengers have been cited as the major causes of accidents on the roads, mainly during the festive seasons.

He further explained that during these festive seasons, passengers tend to carry a lot of luggage, such as cartons of food, thus making vehicles overloaded, which makes it hard for the driver to maintain control and balance.

Kithaka urged PSV drivers to let go of excess luggage and reduce the number of passengers to the required number by law to have a smooth journey.

The chairman of Machakos Drivers, David Muli, who has been a driver for 32 years, says that Sacco managers should focus on employing only qualified and experienced drivers to reduce the number of rising accidents on the roads.

Muli added that heavy commercial vehicles such as buses and trucks should be driven by elderly and experienced drivers, not some of the young drivers who are mostly drunk and not qualified to be on the road.

“It is important for Saccos to ensure their drivers don’t take alcohol to reduce accidents; otherwise, the Saccos will be blacklisted and lose business,” said Muli.

This comes a day after Cabinet Secretary (CS) for Roads and Transport Kipchumba Murkomen launched the Usalama Barabarani Festive campaign in Nairobi aimed at promoting road safety, especially during the festive season.

The CS also launched the Kenya Highway Code and Learner Drivers’ Handbook, which will be freely distributed to all motorists and will also help in promoting responsible road use and reducing the number of deaths and injuries in the country.

Murkomen noted that a majority of road traffic incidents can be prevented by following the safety rules, pointing out that about 90 per cent of accidents are a result of unsafe road user behaviour.

He noted that, as part of the government’s commitment to road safety, the NTSA, in collaboration with the National Police Service, will intensify enforcement activities during the festive season, focusing on illegal PSVs. He urged everyone to plan their journey well and avoid overloading, speeding, and drunk driving.

By Anne Kangero

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