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While announcing measures taken to improve road safety on Friday, Matiangi stated that action will be taken against insurance companies which provide cover to unroadworthy vehicles/FILE

Kenya

Insurance firms to be targeted in crackdown on PSVs

While announcing measures taken to improve road safety on Friday, Matiangi stated that action will be taken against insurance companies which provide cover to unroadworthy vehicles/FILE

NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 9 – Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiangi has reiterated that insurance companies will be targeted in road safety initiatives involving Public Service Vehicles (PSVs) set to be enforced from Monday next week.

While announcing measures taken to improve road safety on Friday, Matiangi stated that action will be taken against insurance companies which provide cover to unroadworthy vehicles.

“The kind of idiocy and madness we have seen in the insurance sector cannot be allowed to prevail. If I asked you here do you know of any one of these accidents that have taken place recently where the victims have been compensated by any insurance company?” he posed.

“There is the case we have of the matatu that rolled on Ngong Road where our children, some of them university students lost their limbs. To this day, the case is going on in court. We are not going to carry burdens for anyone,” he stated.

His sentiments follow the move by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to order a further probe into the bus accident at Fort Ternan, Kericho that left 58 people dead early last month.

Through a statement, DPP Noordin Haji directed Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet to carry out additional investigations relating to the insurance company and body builder of the ill-fated bus.

Haji wanted Boinnet to ascertain whether the bus was insured despite the obvious defects and whether the insurance company is financially sound to meet its obligations.

The 67-seater bus is said to have veered off the road while descending a steep slope before hitting a guard rail and rolling.

The bus owner together with a Sacco director have since been charged.

They however denied the charges and were each ordered to execute a Sh1 million surety bond with an alternative of Sh1 million cash bail.

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They were charged with allowing the ill-fated bus to operate at night without a valid night-time Road Service License.

Matiangi also was categorical that no PSV will be allowed on the road from Monday if they do not abide by the laid down regulations.

He warned that from next week, stern action will be taken against anyone going against the traffic laws.

“This public transport thing has slowly grown into some sort of monster and slowly but surely, if we do not take decisions and firm decisions to bring ourselves back to order, we will lose our society,” he said.

“Where else on earth would you find where a person wants to ply a certain route like Nairobi and Ongata Rongai but before that vehicle does that, you have to pay some mad person Sh50,000 for nothing.”

Matiangi was accompanied by his transport counterpart James Macharia where he urged PSV owners and operators to familiarize themselves with the Michuki rules as there will be no excuse for flouting them.

“The offenses we have are very clear, nobody needs to be told. That is the first lesson you are involved in when you go to driving school. It is common sense,” he said.

On Monday, police had started implementing the tough traffic rules as part of measures to curb road carnage, but they were suspended a day later after operators protested that the enforcement may not achieve results, unless a proper framework is set out.

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