Matatu Sacco pulls fleet from road for inspection
The 2NK Sacco management has taken off all its 800 fleet of vehicles from the road for a three-day inspection by the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA).
The inspection exercise coincides with a vigorous safety awareness campaign the company has embarked on to sensitise its drivers after an accident that involved one of their passenger vehicles early this week.
The sacco says the inspection to ensure their vehicles are free from any mechanical defects which may risk the safety of passengers.
Briefing the press yesterday, Sacco Chairman James Kahiro said they had to create a sensitisation forum on road safety by involving the Sacco management, the fleet drivers together with the NTSA officials.
“We are here today for a purpose. We have created this forum to share ideas on safety measures on our roads as well as giving the drivers a platform on which to air their views.
We want to primarily make a way forward as far as road safety is concerned,” said Kahiro.
Kahiro has also said they used to hold similar meetings before Covid-19 struck home forcing them to suspend the forum in line with Ministry of Health safety protocols.
“We used to hold meetings like these before Covid-19 pandemic disrupted all public gatherings.
But recently, we have seen the importance of having such a meeting to remind us as matatu operators our roles in observing road safety,” Kahiro added.
The Sacco plans to have similar meetings in different towns in the country where their vehicles operate to ensure every driver is sensitized.
Naomi Wamai, one of the drivers who attended the meeting welcomed the move by Sacco terming such meetings a good forum for sharing ideas on how to transform the industry into a safe transport sector.
“As drivers we have learnt a lot from the National Transport and Safety Authority officers.
We have also interacted well by sharing different ideas. We have been reminded of following traffic instructions while using the roads and always being alert on the roads to ensure that our lives and those of the passengers we are ferrying are safe,” Wamai said.
Careless and reckless driving
“We have been taught a lot in order to avoid careless and reckless driving. My call to other drivers is to let them approach driving as a professional career. Let’s not demean our work.
By doing this we will be happy and comfortable when operating along these roads,” added another driver, Joshua Kamau.
Kenya loses an average of 3,000 people to road carnage each year ranking the country among the nations with the highest road mortality rates.
By the end of October last year, a total of 3,564 people had lost their lives through road accidents across the country through road accidents.
Out of the number, 1,241 were pedestrians while 984 were motorcyclists. Early this week Government spokesperson Colonel (rtd) Cyrus Oguna announced that 4,579 Kenyans lost their lives to road accidents in 2021.
The spokesperson noted that safety on the roads remains a great concern to the government and attributed many of the incidents to speeding and reckless driving.
“By the end of last year (2021), the country had lost 4,579 lives through avoidable road crashes, with 16,046 nursing injuries. Some of those who perished were students on their way home,” he said.
“We are losing many of our people in road crashes, leaving many households without a breadwinner, and children orphaned.”