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Murkomen bans Proboxes, Voxy from operating as PSVs

Transport Cabinet Secretary Kipchumba Murkomen has banned private vehicles operating as public service vehicles.

Mr Murkomen instructed the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) to work together with the National Police Service (NPS) to make sure that Voxies, Proboxes, Noahs, and Sientas are not used as PSVs.

This comes in response to rising cases of road carnage witnessed lately across the country.

According to the CS, this is part of ongoing efforts to streamline operations and bring order to the public transport sector.

“Some motorists have developed a tendency to operate as PSVs without authorization and I promise the offenders will be prosecuted under the Traffic Act,” he said on Tuesday while addressing the press at his office.

Murkomen’s announcement came amid public criticism over the failure of the government to ensure order on roads amid gross traffic violations including delayed removal of stalled vehicles on major highways.

He said the directive seeks to address the increasing cases of private vehicles being illegally converted into PSVs without complying with the mandatory regulations and compliance measures for public transport, which include payment of inspection fees and all other necessary taxes.

The vehicles are barred from offering public transport services under the Traffic Act and have been cited for overloading, carrying as many as 10 passengers for a 5-seater car.

At the same time, the CS ordered all commercial and PSV vehicles to undergo compliance within 30 days or risk licence revocation.

Mr Murkomen also mandated that all commercial and PSVs have speed limiters installed to prevent accidents and protect lives, promising punitive action against offenders.

He said that the National Transport Safety Authority (NTSA) Intelligent Road Safety Management System (IRSMS) will onboard the speed limiters for effective monitoring of the drivers’ speed.

“To prevent accidents and protect lives, we hereby issue a further directive for immediate compliance with KS 2295 – 2018 on maximum road speed limiters for motor vehicles to ensure speed limiters fitted on PSVs and commercial vehicles are functional, limiting speed, storing data, transmitting speed data every five seconds and onboarded onto the NTSA Intelligent Road Safety Management System ( IRSMS),” the CS said flanked by NTSA and traffic enforcement teams led by Police Inspector General Japhet Koome.

On Tuesday, eight people died in a road accident at the Ngata area in Nakuru on the Nakuru-Eldoret highway after a Probox vehicle, which was ferrying an unknown number of passengers collided head-on with a lorry.

The Probox was heading towards Kericho town while the lorry was heading in the opposite direction.

Rift Valley police boss Tom Odera said the accident occurred at the Ngata blackspot at about 5.40 am after one of the lorries from Eldoret heading to Nakuru lost its brakes.

The Ngata road accident occurred barely hours after a similar crash on Monday evening which claimed six lives in the Duka Moja area on the Kericho – Nakuru highway.

The government banned the use of Probox as PSVs in 2015 over increased accidents due to overloading, speeding and reckless driving.

Local insurance firm Kenya Orient stopped issuing risk cover for Toyota Probox 2022, citing the high cost of insuring the car in Embu, Meru and Kisumu where they are popular due to frequent accidents.