COMPLIANCE GAPS

Sustain crackdowns for effectiveness in streamlining road use

Players in the public transport sector are not only flouting the protocols but also the Michuki laws

In Summary

• Crackdowns should not be a one-day event.

• They should be sustainable to rid our roads of rogue motorists 

Matatus parked along Accra road
Matatus parked along Accra road
Image: FILE:

Motorists were recently on high alert after the traffic police department and the National Transport and Safety Authority launched a crackdown targeting vehicles fitted with fancy registration plates.

As usual, motorists acted as each other’s keeper and warned one another of the routes to keep off to avoid the dragnet. Typical of such crackdowns, this one, too, had a timeframe within which it was to be conducted. This means motorists whose vehicles did not measure up to the required standards could wait until the crackdown ended to return to the road.

Another relatable case is when President Uhuru Kenyatta announced Covid-19 containment measures last year and directed that the capacity of public transport vehicles be reduced to curb spread of the virus. As expected, all was well within the first days of implementation of these measures. Law enforcers were very keen to ensure all operators the industry complied.

However, as the keenness by the law enforcers gradually died out, so did adherence to the said regulations. In most parts of the country, including Nairobi that has been categorised as a red zone, some players in the public transport sector are not only flouting the protocols but also the Michuki laws. It is business as usual under the nose of the law enforcers.

In a country like ours where the decision to comply or flout traffic regulations is determined by the presence or absence of a law enforcer, crackdowns should not be a one-day event. They should be sustainable to rid our roads of rogue motorists whose recklessness accounts for irreparable damages. I believe the taxes paid by Kenyans are enough to take care of such an exercise.

Kimani Wairimu, Nairobi