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New deadline to fit speed devices

Matatus and buses resumed ferrying travellers to various destinations after a court on Wednesday extended to April 15 the fitting of digital speed governors.

Few people walked to work as matatus were available compared to Tuesday when the new regulations took effect.

In Nairobi, the PSVs were on the roads, with no disruptions or fare increases.

Garages in Industrial Area were busy fitting speed governors on matatus.

Long queues formed outside the Motor Vehicle Inspection Unit as matatus waited to be checked.

Business was frantic at the unit as workers tried to clear the backlog of vehicles to comply with the new rules. 

Said director of Motor Vehicle Inspection Gerald Wangai: “Some cars have spent the night here waiting to be served but we will attend to them all.”

High cost of gadgets 

Matatu owners have close to a fortnight to comply before the new deadline.

Mr David Mwangi, a tout on Nairobi’s Umoja route, complained about the high cost of speed governors. His vehicle is yet to be fitted with the gadget.

“These gadgets are too expensive; we will be forced to transfer the cost to our passengers,” Mr Mwangi said. 

Nairobi has more than 10,000 PSVs and according to the Matatu Welfare Association, about 10 per cent had complied with the law.

Non-availability of the digital governors was mainly the reason for non-compliance.

Outlets selling the gadgets allegedly inflated the prices and hoarded the few that were available to make more money. 

Most matatu owners said the going rate ranged from Sh35,000 to Sh45,000 for each unit.