CS Murkomen orders crackdown on private vehicles operating as PSVs

Transport Cabinet Secretary Kipchumba Murkomen on Thursday ordered a crackdown on private vehicles operating as Public Service Vehicles (PSVs).

Speaking during the Matatu Owners Association (MOA) delegates during the National Delegates Council Meeting at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC), Murkomen directed the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) to begin the exercise on Friday, December 1, 2023.

According to the CS, this was part of ongoing efforts to streamline operations and bring order and sanity to the public transport subsector.

“I have this afternoon (Thursday) directed National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) in collaboration with the National Police Service (NPS) to conduct a nationwide crackdown on illegal Public Transport Vehicles (PSVs) with immediate effect,” said CS Murkomen.

According to the CS, a section of motorists had developed the tendency to operate as PSVs without authorisation.

He said that the directive is aimed at addressing growing cases where private vehicles are illegally converted into PSVs without adhering to the mandatory regulations.

At the same time, he cautioned Kenyans against boarding vehicles that are not PSVs, saying it was a risk not worth taking. He also warned citizens not to blame the authorities if they are left stranded after NTSA catches them in these private vehicles.

“As a Kenyan before you board any vehicle, first make sure the car you are boarding is a PSV. Otherwise, once we catch you, you’ll be left stranded wherever the car will be found,” he added

He further stated that private vehicles should also be registered with the Matatu Owners Association (MOA) before operating as a PSV.

He singled out car brands used by notorious drivers for this vice, saying that among them were Toyota Sienta, Probox, Voxy and Sierra.

The CS also sent a stern warning to all private vehicle owners, especially revellers, noting that they are responsible for the highest number of accidents on Kenyan roads compared to PSV.

“Most accidents recorded in the country happen over the weekend. Majority are the young people who drink from Friday to Monday morning and they are the ones who cause this accidents,” he said.

According to the latest figures of accident on Kenyan roads by NTSA, at least 3,760 people have lost their lives through road accidents between January and October 15.

Highly urbanized counties reported higher fatality rates, the NTSA Director General George Ngao attributing the trend to an increase in motorization and population.

Motorcyclists recorded the highest number of incidents and accounted for 1,213 deaths due disregard of traffic laws.

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