, MACHAKOS, Kenya, Aug 6 – Machakos Governor Dr Alfred Mutua has banned school buses from plying the county roads after 6.59pm.
He said any vehicle ferrying students past that time will be stopped and the driver arrested.
Mutua said the affected bus will not be released to the school until a fine of not less than Sh50,000 is paid.
He added that proper planning and adherence to the law should be put in place when planning school trips.
He spoke after the weekend tragedy involving a school bus that left 11 students dead in the neighbouring
Mutua revealed that a special enforcement unit of the Machakos County Inspectorate has been formed to enforce and ensure compliance of the rules.
“The unit will work in conjunction with the police and other relevant government agencies,” said Mutua.
He added that one of the challenges facing the country was disregard of the law and lack of enforcement.
“This, especially on our roads, has led to disorder, loss of production hours and fatal injuries,” said Mutua.
The Machakos Governor was addressing a news conference at his office where he unveiled road user guidelines for the county.
“For many years, our roads have created orphans and left families suffering. It is the responsibility of all of us, and especially, governments to do something to stop the massacre we face on our roads,” said Mutua.
He said as an initial step towards bringing sanity and saving lives and injuries, the public is informed that the Machakos Government policy directives will be enforced with immediate effect.
Mutua said vehicles emitting visible exhaust smoke will not be allowed to travel on Machakos roads regardless of whether they are heading to a Machakos destination or on transit.
“Emission of visible exhaust smoke by vehicles not only pollutes, obstructs the view of other motorists but is also contrary to County Law, Kenya Standards (KS1515) and Traffic Act Cap 403, Section 55, 56 and Rule 27,” said Mutua.
He warned that the vehicles, whether private or public transport will be stopped and towed.
They will not be allowed to be driven on Machakos roads until they are properly fixed.
In addition, a fine of Sh150,000 will be levied on vehicles that are emitting visible smoke.
“Therefore, if on transit, before you enter Machakos County from our neighbouring counties of Nairobi, Makueni, Kitui, Kajiado, Kiambu, Murang’a and Embu, ensure your vehicle is road worthy and not emitting smoke,” said Mutua.
He said that on Machakos County roads, no vehicle will be allowed to obstruct other vehicle and cause traffic congestion:
“Vehicles obstructing traffic, will be impounded and a fine of up to Sh50,000 imposed on the obstructing vehicles,” said Mutua.
He warned that vehicles that enter and block intersections or stop in the middle of the road to pick or drop passengers will face fines of Sh100,000 for obstruction.
“This is applicable to both private and public service vehicle,” said Mutua.
He said littering from moving or stationary vehicles on Machakos roads and roadsides is also prohibited.
“”Machakos County spends a lot of money and time keeping our roads and pavements clean and we will not entertain primitive behavior of throwing litter from vehicles as they drive on our roads,” said Mutua.
He said vehicles in which passengers are spotted either by the public, county officers or the 500 CCTV cameras littering will be stopped and the offending passenger fined Sh15,000.
“If it is not clear which passenger committed the crime, the vehicle and all passengers will be held until they all raise a combined Sh50,000 fine,” said Mutua.
Vehicles that are driven at night with damaged lights will be stopped, towed and a fine of Sh20,000 per missing light levied.
This is applicable to motorcycles, private and public vehicles.
Mutua said order is important to ensure safety of people and also to create the right environment for speedy development.
“Majority of the time, accidents, traffic congestion and poor road use are caused by a bad attitude and disregard of others and the law,” said Mutua.
He said Machakos County will continue to be in the forefront of protecting the life of its citizens and will work with all other agencies to ensure that there is discipline on the roads.