Matatu owners will be required to fit their vehicles with new and modern speed governors as the government moves to tighten traffic rules aimed at curbing road carnage.
National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) says in a notice that all vehicles will be issued with an interim inspection certificate based on the old governors until the end of February and a three-month temporary TLB licence.
Thereafter, they will be required to present the vehicles fitted with new governors for inspection by the end of March at no extra fee.
“These speed governors will be using GPRS technology and it will help the authorities in establishing the causes of accidents that happen in places where police are unable to tell,” says Lee Kinyanjui, the chairman of the NTSA.
Mr Kinyanjui says the new governors can record and track the speed and events as they unfold with the data being retrievable by the Motor Vehicle Inspector.
“Speeding is the major cause of accidents in our roads and we have to look for all possible ways in curbing this menace,” he said, noting that the government will not relent in its efforts to ensure road safety.
A matatu lobby group has welcomed the new development, however, they asked the government to register enough agents countrywide to distribute the gadgets faster to minimise delays.
“We have more than 80,000 public service vehicles on the roads and we would like enough dealers to be registered to hasten the process,” says Matatu Welfare Association chairman Dickson Mbugua.
Mr Mbugua claimed that only four dealers had been approved to supply the devices but NTSA said it was yet to appoint vendors.
The lobby has faulted the move by the government to ban night travels on buses, saying that was not part of the agreement when they were discussing the regulations.
“During stakeholders consultations, the ban on night travels was not part of the discussion, we were only surprised to see them when the regulations were finally made public,” he said, calling on the ministry to review the time.
However, Mr Kinyanjui said the ban would remain in force, pointing out that the number of accidents have so far reduced since the regulation was enforced on December 24.
The government has also reintroduced breathalysers, commonly known as Alcoblow to reduce the number of accidents caused through drunk-driving.
Because of the night travel ban, travellers have had to pay higher fares and push back date of travel to match the new schedules.