Its obviously the matatu driver who gets much of the blame whenever an accident claims lives. As much as we would like to fight back, I feel its much better if we look at this from a general view. it is a fact that all accident are as a result of human error; and in an actual accident scene; involving one of our vehicles, the matatu driver happens to be one of the humans involved. I don’t believe that defending a guilty person regardless of whether one wins the case or not makes justice seem to have been equally served. And it will not make any sence for me in this article to defend my fellow work mates when it comes to putting the lives of other humans at risk. I interviewed some matatu drivers about their jobs and what is their biggest worry, (see the post- know your matatu driver.) one of the drivers identified defective vehicle as one of the biggest risk. In my own opinion this, plus an in-experienced driver and the competition the job requires, is the major cause of many matatu accidents.The job itself requires not just the ability to control a vehicle and change gears but a whole lot of skills, know-how, courage, experience and a sober mind. Majority of newcomers once they graduate from touts to drivers, find themselves in troubled waters as the nature of the job requires them to keep up with the experienced and meet the target at the end of the day or risk losing the job. This group usually target the older vehicles whose owners are desperate and accept any amount, most of this vehicles are naturally not in very good shape.
For a matatu to be deemed fit to fly on the tarmac as they mostly do, it must have the right tyres and the right suspension i.e all the parts that keeps the car suspended; the bolts that holds the tyres, the shock absorbers, springs, all bushes, bearings and everything.
I have learned through experience that, too often its the tiny leaks that sinks the big ships. If two vehicles, (one with the above and one lacking either of the parts i have mentioned; ) were driving bumper to bumper at 100 km/h and suddenly require to avoid a pothole, one will hold the swing but the other will either hit the obstacle or roll. Should we blame the pothole?-No; we cannot even blame the devil unless we first admit being possessed. or does mistake translate to human error? I will say this now and i will repeat it again and again that when it comes to professional driving, its not about speed, its about skills