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PSV drivers to undergo alcohol tests as schools reopen

The government has announced robust measures targeting Passenger Service Vehicles (PSV) operators in order to curb accidents as schools re-open on Monday.

The measures include mandatory alcohol tests for all PSV drivers and no driver will be allowed to drive for long distances to avoid fatigue.

Speaking during a press briefing after an inter-ministry meeting, Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia assured that fares will not be hiked during the back-to-school rush.

The CS said they had met with Matatu Owners Association leaders where they agreed on three resolutions; no fares will be hiked, drivers to be tested for alcohol and no driver will be allowed to drive for long distances.

To forestall the anticipated transport crisis that is witnessed every time schools reopen, the Ministry also announced that the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) and the Medium Gauge Railway (MGR) trains plying Mombasa-Nairobi route would double their capacity on Monday.

There will be no express trains on Monday as they will make stops at all the seven stations between Mombasa and Nairobi to ease movement to those regions.

“Following today’s Multi-Agency briefing on Re-opening of Schools, we will provide an additional Inter-county train in the evening between Mombasa and Nairobi,” read the statement from Kenya Railways.

Schools in Kenya were closed in March 2020 when the first case of Covid-19 was confirmed but they were reopened partially in October 2020 for Form 4, Class 8 candidates and Grade 4.

PP1 and PP2, Grade 1,2 and 3, Class 5, 6 and Seven, as well as Forms 1, 2 and 3 started reporting back to school on Monday.

To recover the lost year, the resuming classes will be in school for their second term until March 19.

They will then proceed on a seven-week break ending May 9 to allow for KCPE and KCSE examinations administration and marking.

The third term will begin on May 10 and run through to July 16.

Grade 4 and incoming Form 1 (Class 8 graduates) will stay at home as other learners complete their third term then all students will begin a new school year on July 26, 2021.