, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 19 – The High Court has temporarily lifted the ban on night travel imposed on Public Service Vehicles by the National Transport and Safety Authority.
High Court Judge Chacha Mwita suspended the ban pending hearing of an application filed by Activist Okiya Omtatah.
According to the suit, the ban is contrary to article 232 of the Constitution which requires provision to the public of timely, accurate information on the policy banning night travel for long distance PSVs.
“On December 31, the National Transport and Safety Authority and the National Police Service released an undated and unsigned joint press statement titled ‘Statement on Migaa Crash’ wherein they categorically stated: “The Authority in consultation with other relevant government agencies hereby suspend night travel for all long distance public service vehicles from December 31, 2017. All travel must be scheduled to take place between 6am and 7pm,” the petition stated.
The ban came into effect at the beginning of the year after a bus collided with a truck at Migaa along the Nakuru-Eldoret road claiming over 30 lives.
“The statement was a kneejerk reaction to the menace of road accidents on Kenyan roads. Since then the NTSA and police have been enforcing their grossly arbitrary, unreasonable, irrational, discriminatory, unscientific, and outright unlawful policy with NO regard for the affected public,” the petition reads.
Omtatah stated that to conform to the arbitrary and unreasonable travel timelines imposed, long distance passengers, including little children, are forced to spend long nights in the cold.
“The government has also not taken any measures to cushion PSV operators and other affected businesses from losses resulting from the ban,” Omtatah argues.
He also makes the case that the failure to submit the press statement effecting the ban to Parliament, for scrutiny, voided it.