Agency cracks down on rogue cane trucks

Friday, January 20th, 2023 08:21 | By
sugarcane tractor. PHOTO/Courtesy

The Kenya National Highways Authority (Kenha) has mounted a crackdown on rogue sugarcane transporters to tame accidents and destruction of road infrastructure in Nyanza region.

This follows a sharp rise in accidents involving sugarcane lorries, leaving a trail of destruction on Kenha infrastructure. Nyanza regional director Julius Mak’oderoh blamed the incidents on the free hand given to transporters by sugar millers, making it difficult for them to monitor and check on their activities on the road.

“Most millers have outsourced this service by contracting transporters. When we approach them on these issues, they claim they have no control,” he said. The drivers, he added, were fond of freewheeling, especially when approaching fly-overs, to gain momentum to go uphill at minimal fuel consumption. He cited Kasagam Flyover where a number of cane trucks have rolled over due to freewheeling.

“These facilities have been designed to be navigated at certain speeds. For example, the maximum speed for Kasagam Flyover is 40 kmph. A driver doing any speed above that limit is at risk of causing accidents,” he said.

Mak’oderoh said Kenha has directed the sugar millers to rein in their contracted transport firms. Regulations to be enforced include observing the operating hours, where no sugarcane truck is to be on the road before 6am and after 6 pm. Other measures include adherence to traffic rules and avoidance of littering, which is common with cane transportation. “We have directed them to strap the cane to avoid littering,” he said.

Kenha, he disclosed, continues to experience cases of vandalism targeting  metallic guard rails, street lights and signage on the 1,500km roads under its management in Nyanza region.

Efforts to replace metal rails with plastic ones, he said, have been futile since the vandals still destroy them.

Mak’oderoh urged the public to partner with Kenha and volunteer information on vandalism to tame the vice in Nyanza.                                                                  - KNA

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