NTSA adopts new way to curb road accidents

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By LEONARD ONYANGO
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Long distance matatu drivers will undergo an alcohol test at bus stations before being allowed to transport passengers.

According to the National Transport and Safety Authority’s (NTSA) road safety enforcement director Njeri Waithaka, the agency’s officials will be stationed at the exit of all bus stations in major towns countrywide in a bid to ensure that only compliant matatu drivers are allowed to drive.

Speaking during a road safety awareness at Nairobi’s Machakos Country Bus Station, Ms Waithaka said the new strategy, aimed at curbing road accidents, will be implemented in all major bus stations in Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu, Nakuru and Eldoret.

Apart from alcohol tests, the enforcement officers will ensure that only vehicles with valid speed governors, licences and registered fleet management systems are allowed on the road.

A fleet management system enables the authority to track and monitor the speed of all registered matatus.

“The drivers who escape our dragnet at bus station exits and those who drink alcohol while driving during the journey will be nabbed at our check points along the highways. We have check points in key areas,” said Ms Waithaka.

“Drivers caught with traces of alcohol at the exit point will not be allowed to proceed with the journey and our officers will either arrest them or ask the bus sacco to provide another driver,” she added.

During Sunday’s awareness drive, the agency’s officials barred two matatu drivers from leaving Machakos Country Bus for western Kenya after they were found to be drunk.

The two drivers were not arrested, instead the officials asked their respective saccos to provide alternative drivers.

The agency also educated passengers on how to use its Self Service App to report drivers who flout road rules.

Drunk driving and speeding are among the major causes of road carnage.

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