Please Retrain PSV drivers. No one is safe.

29 Aug

The fourteen seater; matatu may as well be on its way out and we have started to see brand new vehicles on the road; That is evident today with the way investors are buying 33 seaters and if the china’s deal with President Kenyatta will bring other investors in to the field, we will see more sofisicated model of public transport. We welcome this new change that is surely more attractive and comfortable than the Nissan matatus we have had for years.
But that is not all. it is not yet time for Kenyans to relax and expect too much change.I don’t want to break anybody’s spirit but I would like to tell everybody to hope for the best but leave a room for the worst; Early this morning, an accident involving a passenger service bus helding to far eastern from the capital has so far claimed 40 lives and over thirty are seriously injured. The policy makers are meeting at a location near the scene of the accident do discuss various ways of reducing tragic road accidents involving passengers service vehicle. among the agendas to be discussed is banning long distance public service vehicles from operating at night.

I remember how people had so much confidence in the new Government and were up in arms to fight corruption among other evils the Moi regime was accused of.Kenyans refused to pay bribe and even went as far as apprehending traffic cops who were demanding bribe from matatu drivers.

It was therefore a rude shock to witness what happened five years later,private companies were contracted and given monopoly to import gadgets; the new by-laws required for all matatus.Workers were then required to deposit advance tax with the Kenya revenue authority to be issued with badges. Anybody found without the card was immediately arrested and taken to court.It was Uhuru Kenyatta who came to our rescue when he took over as the minister for finance and abolished advance tax for would be matatu workers.

Today, Everyone is excited about the Nissan matatus paving the way and taking all their bad habits with them. I know, majority are wishing that we evaporate into the thin air sooner never to be heard again; so that we can leave them in peace; but i have news for you. We are only changing the costume,but we are retaining the priesthood. The smaller matatus are not to blame for overlapping, overtaking-{ even when they see an approaching vehicle}- or for driving on the side walks; It is the drivers who do this things. Kenyan motorists should now expect to meet a seventy one seater bus overtaking on a blind corner.
What I’m trying to say is that; we need more than just bigger buses. The transport industry must reform its members if the change is to bear fruits.The tricky part will be in choosing who will drive the fewer buses and what will happen to the rest of us.Many people who earn their daily bread in the matatu industry will have to seek for alternative means of getting the bread while those who will get the fewer jobs will continue abstracting other motorists, overtaking, overlapping.

I’m not of the opinion that we call for national prayers for our driver to drive safely;I would prefer we re-train them. Changing the size of the vehicle is just like-washing the pig as written on the bible- we all know what will happen when the cleaned pig is set free.

The only measure that will bring sanity on our roads is when we decide to reach out and educate our drivers on traffic rules and regulations. Until then…….!


Posted by on August 29, 2013 in ewaste, Its life, Matatu matters, Spiritual wisdom


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6 responses to “Please Retrain PSV drivers. No one is safe.

  1. Michael Hynds

    September 19, 2013 at 3:36 pm

    It is good to see a sheep among the wolves. What I find so encouraging is that there are so many good, positively critical articles written in the press (and on social media) that decry poor social behaviour, dreadful driving, bribery, corruption, the struggles of educating and healing the common man, cynical political manouevring, other shoddy public services and low standards and general abuse in Kenya. Do the people who are in a position of power not read these articles? If they do read them, then why do they not do more to make positive change, and do so quickly?


  2. Lisa

    September 23, 2013 at 12:52 pm

    Hi. That is true, in as much as they introduce the buses and rule out the matatu’s, there is need for training. The problem is not with the matatus but the people driving them as well as the ones managing them. Training on management skills, integrity, Ethics, safety and hygiene, customer service, driving skills is all important. running a check to see if all the drivers as well as the touts are skilled, qualified and competent enough to handle the job.,


    • Michael Hynds

      September 25, 2013 at 6:36 pm

      Like Lisa says, training is vital. I also add courtesy to the list of training requirements. Almost daily, they ‘cut me up’ as I drive to work, and attempt crude (and often illegal) short-cuts.

      It may help if some ‘mystery shoppers’ traveled on them, to record evidence of such despicable behaviour for presentation to the owners, trade associations or prosecuting authorities.

      I think that there is also a problem with many of the matatus. It may be some time before they are phased out. However, in the meantime, many of them operate in an unroadworthy state. Examples of defects include faulty steering, suspension, brakes and electrical components, particularly the lights.

      I have also seen examples of defective tyres, excessive corrosion, shoddy bodywork repairs and other dangerous bodywork. There also appears to be a plethora of engine and gearbox problems, causing, for example, severely polluting emissions, fuel inefficiency and under-performance in terms of ability to handle inclines.

      In the interior of these vehicles, some of them may well have seatbelts, but they are often filthy, trailing on the floor to be covered in mud and other sticky and unpleasant material, rendering them undesirable for comfortable passenger use. The seats are usually incredibly grimy and unhygienic, and also damaged in terms of excessive tearing and protruding metal.


  3. Michael Hynds

    September 25, 2013 at 6:42 pm

    Of course, the traveling public has a role to play. They usually sit there, like sheep being led to slaughter.

    I read a newspaper article recently in which one passenger did speak up, protesting to the driver about his appallingly despicable driving – “do you want to kill us? – please drive carefully and sensibly with due regard to the law, the road conditions, the capabilities of the vehicle, the fact that people have paid to travel safely with you, the road conditions, the weather conditions and the expected behaviour of other road users” or similar.

    Of course, the driver remonstrated loudly and aggressively. However, the passenger ascertained the owner of the vehicle, and made a telephone call to report the extremely deviant behaviour and appalling attitude of the driver.

    The owner called the driver, who subsequently slowed down considerably.

    A fellow passenger turned to the one who had taken the bold initiative and said “Thank you for standing up for us. Only last month my husband was killed by a speeding matatu driver.”


  4. Ben

    March 31, 2014 at 6:37 pm

    hi there is more than just rules. it all about us that’s PSV operators and passangers


  5. stanley

    January 8, 2015 at 6:43 pm

    what are the thing am i to consider when i want to join the matatu buisness using an isuzu NQR in the coming one year?



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