Kenya bans ‘unlicensed’ night buses

December 24, 2013 4:35 pm
This accident at 3am Tuesday led to close to 20 deaths at Mtito Andei. Photo/KENYA RED CROSS
This accident at 3am Tuesday led to close to 20 deaths at Mtito Andei. Photo/KENYA RED CROSS

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 24 – No public service vehicle will be allowed to carry passengers between 6pm and 6am without a night travel license from the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA).

Transport Principal Secretary Nduva Muli said this was in line with the new regulations gazetted on December 17, this year.

He observed that most accidents were happening at night, throwing the blame to the PSV operators who he said were reluctant to adhere to laid regulations.

“These require operators of buses at night to meet certain conditions. If they are not meeting those conditions, the position is that they should not be operating, no option,” Muli emphasised.

However Kenyans are yet to see the implementation, especially as currently no single night license has been issued.

But traffic commandant Samuel Kimaru maintained that the police will enforce the law immediately starting Tuesday evening.

“What is going to happen today is that we are going to prevent all the buses which will be traveling at night. We will not see accidents happening at night because there will be no those vehicles to cause the accidents (sic),” Kimaru sent the warning.

“When Michuki (the late Cabinet Minister) said that if your vehicle does not have a speed governor, you will not travel and if your vehicle does not have seat belt, you will also not travel, these vehicles were taken off the road and there were no vehicles to cause accidents, people were walking on foot’,” Kimaru added.

According to the regulations under Legal Notice 219, of the National Transport and Safety Authority Act, every operator of a nighttime long distance passenger service, must first ensure they employ two drivers certified by the authority.

The operator must also ensure that a driver does not travel for more than eight hours and must take a break of eight hours before the next shift.

“Most of our accidents are happening at the last quarter of the journey in the night and that tells it all,” Muli lamented.

The rules also require that all the journeys are planned in a manner that allows a 30-minute refreshment break for both the driver and the passengers at an appropriate location after every three to fours hours in the course of the journey.

The PS has called on the passengers to also help the law enforcers by not boarding a PSV that does not have the required license which he said must be displayed on the vehicle.

He said the Ministry had already published the regulations in the dailies and called on the owners to immediately follow suit and get the licenses.

This comes even as citizens continue to loose their lives through road accidents with the latest being on Tuesday morning when 17 people perished in a 3am accident at Mtito Andei.

The accident involved two buses belonging to Horizon and Spring. The license of the Horizon bus company has since been revoked by NTSA after it emerged that the driver was at fault.

Kimaru says this month alone 196 people have lost their lives through road accidents.


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