Michuki laws are finally back! This time, with a new and correspondingly powerful enforcement authority led by Interior Cabinet Secretary CS Fred Matiangi and his equivalent Transport CS James Macharia. The implementation resulted in a nationwide matatu strike that has caused several economic activities to a standstill. Most Kenyans gathered at bus stations helplessly recounting on their disappointments and failed plans. Below is an extensive recount of Michuki laws that each motorist should follow to prevail on the safe side on the Kenyan roads.
Macharia and Matiang’i signed a three-week notice directed at all public service vehicles essentially to tame rogue touts and drivers who have displeased the transport sector. Public transport is facing the harsh crackdown of paralysis that started early on Monday 12th November 2018 after the expiry of a short notice requiring matatu operatives to comply with John Michuki rules. The Kenyan transport system has faced several challenges in the recent past beginning with hiked fuel prices and now an inadequacy of public transport vehicles on the roads. The few matatus that were fortunate to hit the road took exorbitant fare charges from passengers by taking the interest of the impending high demand. Fort Ternan bus accident is one of the recent advancements that claimed numerous lives on the 10th of October along Kisumu-Muhoroni Highway, prompting the government towards this stern action.
Michuki laws explained
Traffic Act Kenya needs all road users to remain vigilant all the time to combat deadly accidents that have claimed numerous lives in this year alone. Arguably, the implementation of these rule is far more like resetting a comfortable button instilled by the late Michuki himself in 2004. John Michuki was a dominant cabinet secretary as is Matiangi, who absolutely fits in his shoes. Reports show that Michuki laws were impactful in lowering road carnage incidences by over 74 per cent and deadly urban clashes by 94 per cent in less than 100 days. When Michuki resigned from office, the ministry became so relaxed that motorist went back to their normal state of matters. What do Michuki rules entail? The next section of this articles seeks to answer this question while giving you closure on the situation of transportation in the country.
1. Speed governors
Michuki laws are absolute on speed limiters or governors as a means of controlling loss of lives on our roads. Driving within the approved range of speed lowers the risks of getting involved in an accident.
2. Safety belts
The safety belt is one of the fundamental requirements in a set of Michuki laws that reshaped our transportation system, at least in the time when the minister was in charge of transport in the country. Michuki directed all public service vehicles to install seat belts as a mechanism of making sure that passengers reach their destinations securely.
3. Yellow line and the expected number of passengers
Valid Monday 12th November 2018, all PSVs in the country are demanded to have a continuous yellow line as specified under Michuki laws for easy classification. The ministers enforcing these rules have also stressed that no Matatu should carry an extra passenger as such would endanger them being pulled down and getting arrested.
4. Full uniformed drivers and touts
All Passenger Service Vehicle drivers and their conductors are required by law to oblige in full-badged uniforms, blue and maroon respectively. This rule attempts to enhance professionalism in the business while protecting Kenyans from any form of deception and insecurity.
5. Display of authentic documents
The constitution requires that both drivers and conductors to display clear photos of themselves in their matatu. This specification is also part of Michuki laws that brought about rationality in the Kenyan roads.
6. Number of passengers and operating routes
Gone are days when matatus flexibly travelled the country using any route carrying excess passengers on board. Michuki laws demand bus and matatu crew to define the available number of seats and register themselves in a specific route to evade conflict of interest as they thread on the Kenyan roads.
7. Un-roadworthy buses and matatus
Michuki operated towards the elimination of un-roadworthy vehicles that supposedly risked the lives of passengers. This rule stopped the confusion and cleaned the transport sector as long as he was enforcing it. It is regrettable that the order directed by Michuki surged back into the ministry soon after he transferred dockets to become the Minister of Internal Security.
8. Traffic signs
Besides maintaining safe traffic signs, Michuki laws require drivers to follow road signs to ease on excess and enhance safety in the public transport sector. Following speed, red lights, zebra crossing, and other general road signs can significantly save lives.
9. Insurance requirements
Safety of everyone comes first in all of Michuki laws and rules. As such, matatu owners should have substantial insurance cover before ferrying passengers on the Kenyan roads. Insurance firms and bodybuilders organisations that do not adhere to the said laws will also face the crackdown.
10. Michuki rules on long distance operators
This is one of the least understood Michuki rules demanding SACCOs that work in long distance to have several drivers if the trip takes more than 8 hours. Incompetent to comply with this rule will attract a charge from the car owner, the driver, and the SACCO in charge.
The recent toll-free number rolled out by the ministry will help to collect any disorderly conduct on the Kenyan roads. Revealed also is a mobile application and a portal to accommodate such claims. According to Michuki rules nickname NTSA Act 2013, the Traffic Act Cap. 403, and the Legal Notice 161 of 2003, all PSVs are obliged to comply with all the above rules and various others. Dr Fred Matiangi moreover warned that traffic offences Kenya should be rightfully sentenced to avoid protecting any perpetrator from facing the fury of law starting Monday 12th November 2018.
The success of Michuki laws
Kimutai has asked on Matiangi to adjust his authoritative eye on corrupt police officers said to receive between KShs. 50 and KShs. 100 to allow reckless matatu squads to taint Michuki laws and road rules. He similarly noted that police officers are busy collecting revenues and making away with corruption at the cost of the lives of Kenyans on the roads. Such manners have deteriorated traffic agreement peddling in impunity and massive losses of lives even as we advance towards the festive season. For the Michuki laws to succeed, corrupt police officers need to be dealt with.
Opposing Michuki laws
The Federation of Public Transport Operators published a strike threat, commanding that the later enforcement of Michuki rules in both discriminatory and unclear. The organisation is also interested in meeting some of the directives in Michuki rules including imposing charges on owners for traffic violations, changing yellow line colour to white, and replacement of the speed governors to practical ones among others. Matiangi has nevertheless vowed to expand his crackdown to confront boda-boda riders and a cartel of touts working in various bus stations. Recently, Matutus called off the strike.
Full implementation of Michuki laws will absolutely enhance passenger safety and clear Kenyan roads of the present mess that has left many families and the nation short of innocent lives. The enforcement comes on the eve of the festive season that arguably claims several lives as people travel upcountry to meet their loved ones. Kenya traffic penalties for any law broken will be collectively met by those guilty including an excess passenger, vehicle owner, conductor, and the driver. The representative of Transport CS James Macharia and Internal CS Fred Matiangi include a capable team in the enforcement these life-saving innovations that have long been scorned. It is, nonetheless, necessary to make sure that the constitution designating Michuki laws is followed appropriately.