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How businessmen are illegally altering school vans to save on fuel (Photos)

Pupils of a Nairobi primary school had a fortunate escape from a potentially dangerous situation when an alert pedestrian raised the alarm concerning the unroadworthy condition of a school van they had been using.

The vehicle, identified as a Toyota van with registration KBX 844Y, was found to have a tampered acceleration pedal, raising serious safety concerns.

Beneath the acceleration pedal, a nail had been deliberately welded to prevent the driver from pressing it down.

Inside the tampered school van where the acceleration pedal is immobilised by a nail intentionally welded to the car’s floor. PHOTO| COURTESY

Motoring pundits suggest that this modification was intended to save fuel by limiting the driver’s ability to accelerate, thus consuming less fuel.

Besides that, it poses a serious safety hazard. This modification restricts the driver’s ability to accelerate the vehicle, potentially leading to dangerous situations on the road.

The van is the property of Samson Wamalwa, who had been contracted by a primary school to provide transportation services for the pupils.

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The potentially catastrophic issue came to light when the van stalled along State House Road on the October 13 at 4:30 pm, reportedly due to running out of fuel. Several pedestrians came to the rescue, assisting in pushing the disabled van off the road.

However, it was one observant pedestrian who noticed the peculiar alteration. It promptly reported the matter to the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA), addressing his concerns to NTSA Director General George Njao.

Taking immediate action, Njao ordered his officers to investigate the matter. On the afternoon of Tuesday, October 17, they executed their orders.

Details of the owner of the tampered school van. PHOTO| COURTESY

An NTSA official, who wished to remain anonymous, revealed, “NTSA has towed the vehicle to Kilimani Police station. We found it parked at Nairobi Primary School, and during the inspection, we indeed discovered the aforementioned nail. We will apprehend the owner and press charges in court.”

The pedestrian who reported the incident to NTSA commended the swift response, emphasizing the severity of the situation.

“It may seem like a minor issue, but this was a fatal accident waiting to happen. I was deeply troubled to see young girls heading home sitting in the faulty van. I asked the driver why he did not put in enough fuel, and he explained that the owner only provides fuel worth Sh 2,000 intended to last for two days,” said the concerned individual.

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