Matatu Owners Frustrated Over Industry’s Seat Belt Shortage

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  • Matatu Owners are a frustrated lot after a seat belt shortage hit the industry even as Michuki rules crackdown intensifies.

    Matatu Owners Association (MOA) chairman Simon Kimutai, in an address to the press, revealed that the industry is in dire need of the equipment due to high demand from Public Service Vehicles.

    He further explained that the market has been hit with substandard ones that stop working roughly one week after installation.

    Matatu Owners Association Chairman Simon Kimutai

    We don’t have seat belts; the ones which were substandard have been bought and they can’t even last a week before buckles are off and nobody has made the initiative of importing quality ones.

    This has made many vehicles to be parked and so we have a challenge especially when we are not capable of importing them ourselves,” stated Kimutai.

    He divulged that the state of operation has led to more that 80,000 PSVs shunning roads costing operators millions of shillings in revenue.

    More than 40,000 cases have been reported countrywide since the crackdown began.

    According to the re-introduced regulations, every seat found without seat belts risks a fine of Kshs 10,000. On the other hand, all passengers found in a moving vehicle without seat belt risk parting with Kshs 500.

    The motorists have also expressed displeasure with the manner in which police officers treat them as part of the crackdown including those who have complied.

    We aren’t against the law, but it’s very clear that there has been lots of harassment of matatu operators which is not acceptable. We want to tell law enforcement officers to enforce the law putting on a human face because we are not thugs,” continued Kimutai.

    The crackdown commenced on November 12.

    Interior CS Fred Matiang'i and IG Boinnet visiting a Motor Vehicle Inspection Unit | Photo courtesy of NGCC