Shipping & Logistics

PSV drivers start Sh2bn refresher course

Matatus at a PSV terminus in Nyeri. file PHOTO | NMG
Matatus at a PSV terminus in Nyeri. file PHOTO | NMG 

Commercial vehicle drivers, including those handling PSVs and trucks, heading back to training schools in various government institutions from next week, will each pay Sh5,000.

The training will run for five days in phases to cover the 400,000 drivers, putting the total cost at Sh2 billion, were all of them to report for the course.

The move is part of a raft of measures announced by the State last month in its latest bid to curb rampant road accidents, which claimed about 300 lives last December.

“In the first phase, the training targets about 8,000 night travel PSV drivers. They will part with about Sh1,000 per day in training fee and the whole exercise will take about five days,” said the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) director general Francis Meja in an interview.

“The refresher training sessions will be running from Monday to Friday. It’s geared towards testing driver’s attitude and basically the simple things they ignore while driving on the road such as etiquette. We will also run medical tests for conditions which may affect driver’s ability to drive,” Mr Meja said.

The government announced last month that all drivers handling PSVs and trucks must head back to school by this month.

Under the plan, 98,000 night PSV operators and 302,000 commercial vehicle drivers will retrain in institutions such as Kenya Technical Training College, Kenya Institute of Highways and Building Technologies and Kabete Technical Institute.

Other training institutions identified for this exercise include National Youth Service, Baringo Technical College and Rift Valley Technical Training College.

“We are in talks with these institutions and all drivers must head back to school for retraining as it is a condition stipulated in the new driving curriculum,” he said.

Mr Meja said that once the government is through with long distance PSV driver training, the next group set to be trained will be truck drivers.

They will also take about five days in training at the same institutions.

“They will be paying about the same fee and the whole exercise will end within three months.” The NTSA last August released a new curriculum for training and testing of drivers, which was set to be launched last October.

The new curriculum provides that before issuing a driving licence, trainees must undergo 24-160 hours of training, depending on category of licence.

Some of the units to be covered under the new curriculum are vehicle controls, vehicle construction, space management, and communication on the road. Others are adverse driving conditions, customer care, emergency procedures and self-inspection of vehicles.