By Lucy Mkanyika
Traffic Commandant Samuel Kimaru has ordered the seizure of Probox cars and other private vehicles carrying passengers.
Mr Kimaru said the vehicles are not authorised to operate as public service vehicles (PSVs).
Speaking in Voi during a road safety awareness campaign, Mr Kimaru ordered county traffic bosses to ensure that the illegal PSVs are removed from Kenyan roads immediately.
He said the vehicles have continued to claim many lives in the country.
He said the private vehicles operating as PSVs are notorious in overloading, speeding and reckless driving.
“They drop and pick passengers at undesignated points without considering the lives of the passengers,” he said.
He said the law allows the vehicles to do a taxi business but not public transport.
“The police should carry out a countrywide crackdown on these Probox (cars) and other private cars immediately. The swoop should start today; I don’t want to see them on the roads,” he ordered.
He also warned traffic officers against taking bribes from vehicle owners to allow them to operate without complying with traffic regulations.
He said the corruption chain between the police, drivers and vehicle owners causes thousands of death every year.
Mr Kimaru also noted that the boda boda sector is slowly turning into a dangerous business with gangs of riders taking the law in their hands.
He said riders often gang up to torch vehicles involved in accidents.
“Sometimes they don’t care that the rider was the cause of the accident. They torch the vehicle and even harass the driver of the vehicle. We will not tolerate this behaviour,” he warned.
He said cases of vehicles being torched by boda boda riders are on the rise in the country.
“Arson is a very serious crime. We will deal with this trend the way we dealt with Mungiki and other outlawed gangs,” he said.
He urged road users to follow traffic rules to minimise crashes which have claimed 1,312 lives in 2018.
“Many of these [crashes] are caused by human error which means if we follow traffic rules then we will be safe,” he noted.
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