, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 30 – The National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) has warned that it may revoke the licence for Umoinner Sacco matatus after one of their vehicles was involved in an accident with a train at Mutindwa, resulting in 12 deaths.
NTSA Chairman Lee Kinyanjui said that the authority will invoke the law to make a strong example with the organisation whose buses ply the Umoja route.
“Drivers have been advised to drive more carefully failure to which they will be made an example of by having their licenses revoked. This is something we plan to do for the particular bus that caused today’s accident,” said Kinyanjui.
He added that complaints have been made to the authority about the operator saying that they have been under scrutiny after warnings were issued to them.
Kinyanjui however also took issue with small scale traders who have erected illegal structures near the railway line at Mutindwa, blocking visibility of motorists and the train drivers.
“The section of road in question has been marked as an area that is accident prone. There is poor visibility because of the stalls encroached on a large part of the road that does not allow both the train and bus drivers to see what is ahead,” he added.
He explained that an immediate solution will be undertaken by the authority and railway authorities to ensure that the interface between the road and rail is opened up to curb further incidents.
“The railways recommended the demolition of the shops and even took the matter to court. As we wait for the court’s ruling on the matter, we will put up a manned barrier that will control the traffic at the interface,” he explained.
Speaking to Capital FM News, he called for the immediate relocation of the people living around any road-rail interface to avoid a repeat of the morning tragedy.
On its part, the Umoinner Sacco denied the allegations of reckless driving saying that their bus got stuck on the railway as it attempted to cross.
Through a statement posted on its Facebook page, they wrote, “we ought to question the police too as they should stop vehicles from crossing when there is an oncoming train.
“Did the police also sleept on their job (sic)? Many vehicles cross over the railway line and not only Umoinner,” the Facebook post read.
The Umoinner buses were ordered by the NTSA to report to the Traffic headquarters in Ruaraka before 4pm until a decision is reached.
Last Week, Transport Cabinet Secretary Michael Kamau warned all Public Service Vehicle owners and drivers of dire consequences if they fail to comply with road regulations.