NAIROBI (Halbeeg News) – Thousands of Kenyan commuters across the East African nation have been stranded as many public service vehicle owners and drivers put down their tools to protest over the enforcement of public transport safety rules by the government.
Many of the commuters were this morning forced to trek to work as PSV operators withdrew their vehicles in protest of the enforcement of the rules known as Michuki rules.
The rules were gazetted 15 years ago by the then Transport Minister John Michuki in an effort to tame the rogue transport industry.
Few public service vehicles that were in operation after complying with the rules hiked their fares to various destinations.
The commuters in Eastliegh, a Somali dominated suburb in Nairobi parted with Sh100 ($1) more than the usual Sh30 ($0.3)-Sh50 (0.5) fares.
Kenya’s ministry for transport gave the ultimatum for the enforcement of the tough rules two weeks ago.
The rules are part of the measures the ministry intends to take to rein on road carnage that continues to take innocent lives.
The rules require Public Vehicles crew to have specific uniform, wear identification tags and that public transport vehicles be fitted with safety belts, speed governors and a yellow strip to identify them from the rest of the motor vehicles.
Kenya Interior CS Fred Matiang’i and his transport counterpart James Macharia have remained steadfast that the rules must be enforced to the latter.
“The high number of deaths and injuries on our roads is as a result of drivers not observing safety. We will make sure no criminal is left on our roads,” Macharia said on Saturday.
According to the law, the vehicles must also be registered with a Sacco, bear a continuous yellow line and must be fitted with safety belts.
Law enforcers have been blamed for laxity in the implementation of the traffic rules whence encouraging PSV owners and crew to flout rules.