On Thursday, Transport Cabinet Secretary Kipchumba Murkomen issued an order for intensified enforcement targeting private vehicles operating as Public Service Vehicles (PSVs).
Murkomen gave the directive at the National Delegates Council Meeting of the Matatu Owners Association (MOA) held at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC). During the address, he specifically instructed the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) to commence the crackdown today, Friday, December 1, 2023.
CS Murkomen emphasized that the crackdown is a crucial component of the continuous endeavors to streamline operations and instill order and discipline within 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 the CS.
Murkomen pointed out that the directive is specifically designed to address the increasing instances where private vehicles are illegally transformed into PSVs, disregarding the mandatory regulations in place.
CS Murkomen Caution to Kenyan PSV Users
The Transport Minister at the same time issued a caution to Kenyans, advising them against boarding vehicles that lack Public Service Vehicle (PSV) status. He also warned citizens not to hold authorities responsible if they find themselves stranded after being arrested by the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) while traveling in these unauthorized 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.
Furthermore, CS Murkomen emphasized the requirement for private vehicles to be registered with the Matatu Owners Association (MOA) before undertaking operations as Public Service Vehicles (PSVs).
CS Murkomen identified Toyota Sienta, Probox, Voxy, and Sierra as among the vehicles used by notorious individuals for such activities.
Murkomen also sent a warning shot to all private vehicle owners, particularly those reveling, pointing out that they contribute to a higher number of accidents on Kenyan roads compared to Public Service Vehicles (PSVs).
“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 these accidents,” he said.
As per the most recent statistics provided by NTSA, a staggering 3,760 individuals have lost their lives in road accidents in Kenya from January to October 15.