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Matatus banned from using Nairobi Expressway

The government has temporarily banned all public service vehicles (PSV) from using the Nairobi Expressway with immediate effect. Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia on Wednesday said the ban has been necessitated by accidents and incidents involving commercial passenger vehicles.

He said that since the Nairobi Expressway was opened to the public, a number of traffic accidents and incidents involving commercial passenger vehicles have occurred on the expressway.

“These have necessitated an investigation into the cause of these accidents and incidents, so that appropriate safety interventions can be developed to ensure that commercial passenger vehicles use the expressway safely,” said CS Macharia.

“The Ministry of Transport has, therefore, taken the decision to temporarily restrict commercial passenger vehicles with a capacity of more than seven passengers from using the Nairobi Expressway, as we investigate the cause of these accidents and develop appropriate safety measures. Every life matters, and the Government is keen to avoid unnecessary injuries and loss of lives. This restriction takes effect immediately,” the CS said.

He added that rumble strips will be installed to warn drivers to slow down as they approach the various toll gates. Police officers will also enforce speed limits. All motorists will also be required to adhere to the stipulated speed limits.

“The maximum speed limit on all public roads in Kenya is 1l0km/h. The Nairobi Expressway is clearly marked with the speed limits that are applicable to its various sections. In this regard, we have, in collaboration with the Inspector General of Police, installed speed cameras to enhance the enforcement of speed limits. Further, traffic police will henceforth be stationed at various locations along the expressway, including toll stations.”

Offenders will be fined Sh100,00 as part of enhancing safety at the expressway.

The move comes after the expressway has witnessed three accidents in as many weeks with one being fatal. On Wednesday morning a matatu overturned at Nairobi’s Waiyaki Way at the entrance of the Nairobi Expressway in Westlands causing traffic snarl up that lasted for hours.

The Super Metro passenger bus overturned after it hit a guardrail while evading hitting another vehicle that was entering to using the expressway lane. Several passengers were left with scores of injuries and rushed to the hospital.

The accident happened barely two days after an Embasava Sacco bus was involved in another accident at Mlolongo toll station. Another accident resulted in a fatality after a speeding motorist crashed through the barriers, hitting vehicles that had lined up at the toll station.

Coincidentally, both accident happened at the same toll exit, located at Mlolongo. James Njenga, the man who perished in the Nairobi Expressway accident, was laid to rest at his parent’s home in Thigio Ndeiya, Kiambu county last Friday.

On Monday, the same toll station witnessed its second accident and a section of it was closed temporarily following an evening crash involving an Embasava bus and a personal vehicle. The Monday evening accident that happened during the rush hour left at 22 people nursing injuries with both vehicles toppled over. Among those injured was toll booth attendant who manning one of the booths when the accident occurred.