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Matatus yet to fit digital speed governors

Fewer than 2,000 matatus in the county are fitted with digital speed governors as the operators wait for the last minute rush.

A spot check in city garages revealed the uptake of the new gadget is slow despite a government ultimatum ending on March 31.

Road Safety Association of Kenya (RSAK) records show that most PSV owners are yet to honour the government directive. “The uptake for the speed governors is slow, but we are anticipating a peak by the end of next month,” said RSAK chairman Crispus Kinene.

RSAK comprises of firms dealing in automobile spare parts as well as those manufacturing speed governors.

While lauding the Government for acting decisively on road safety, Mr Kinene said he was caught off guard by Transport and Infrastructure Cabinet Secretary’s remarks of introducing tamper-proof speed governors.

“We had invested millions in the manufacture of manual gadgets, only for the Government to insist on the digital ones,” he said.

He said the price of digital speed governor ranges between Sh20,000 to Sh35,000, for commercial transport vehicles with a tare of more than 3,048kg.

So far, only five firms have been approved by the Transport and Licencing Board to supply the gadgets and this is a cause of concern. “We are afraid that some unscrupulous business people might impose exorbitant prices on us,” said Simon Kimutai, chairman Matatu Owners Association.

He says it beats logic that such orders are given for compliance even in the city, where the speed limit is between 30 and 50 kph. “We are still in limbo about the ultimatum. It sholud be extended to at least a year,” he said.