Transport Cabinet Secretary Kipchumba Murkomen has directed the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) to launch a nationwide crackdown on private vehicles and seize those found operating as Public Service Vehicles (PSVs).
Addressing the Matatu Owners Association delegates during the National Delegates Council Meeting at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) on Thursday, Murkomen stated that a section of motorists had developed the tendency to operate as PSVs without authorisation.
He noted that the private vehicles will be required to follow procedures established for PSVS, including paying inspection fees and all other necessary taxes.
"As a Kenyan before you board any vehicle, first make sure the car you are boarding is a PSV. Otherwise, once we catch you, you'll be left stranded wherever the car will be found," Murkomen stated.
Murkomen added that private vehicles should also be registered with the Matatu Owners Association (MOA) before operating as a PSV.
Vehicles notorious for this vice, according to Murkomen, were Sienta, Probox and Voxy.
"I cannot just tell you this and fail to implement it. From tomorrow morning Kazi inaanza (work begins)," Murkomen added.
The CS also sent a stern warning to all private vehicle owners, especially revelers, noting that they are responsible for the highest number of accidents on Kenyan roads compared to PSV.
In Nairobi, some commuters stated that they preferred being given lifts at affordable offers by private vehicles. Some of the cars carry up to five passengers to and fro as the drivers head to work and back home.
Private vans belonging to corporations were also listed by commuters, among vehicles preferred as alternatives to matatus which take longer hours at termini.
NTSA's Director General George Njau had recently announced that the Authority was planning to include private motor vehicles in its annual motor vehicle inspection exercise in a bid to enhance road safety.
While appearing before the Senate Transport Committee, Njau explained that the proposal was part of the measures NTSA was considering to reduce road accidents.