NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 12 — Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery has directed the police to impound vehicles fitted with sirens and strobe lights without authorisation.
In a statement sent to newsrooms on Monday, Nkaissery said the law allows only the President, his deputy and first responders to make use of sirens and strobe lights to make their way through traffic.
“Any other vehicle which does not fall in any of the above three classes (police, ambulances and fire engines) should not be fitted with a siren for whatever purposes,” he made clear.
Nkaissery has therefore demanded that vehicle owners outside this group immediately remove any such fittings.
“Today henceforth all vehicles which are not supposed to have sirens and are fitted with the same must have them removed immediately,” he directed.
Nkaissery also cautioned matatu operators against installing horns that mimic the sounds that sirens make.
Funeral homes were also singled out by the Cabinet Secretary as among those guilty of misusing sirens.
Instances which Nkaissery likened to the story of the boy who cried wolf arguing that if allowed to continue, the misuse of sirens could defeat the very purpose for which they were created.
“Unwarranted or abusive use of sirens may have the net effect of attracting unnecessary contempt and even making motorists be reluctant to give way, thereby jeopardising genuine cases where the same is being used,” he explained.
Nkaissery has therefore directed the Acting Inspector General of Police Samuel Arachi to ensure those under his command carry out his orders on the sirens and strobe lights with life-threatening urgency.
“Issue orders for police officers to impound any unauthorised vehicles with sirens and subsequently charge in a court of law the owners of such vehicles,” he directed Arachi.