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Tough matatu rules come into force after court blow

The new transport rules come to effect on Tuesday after the High Court declined to suspend them as requested by matatu owners.

The transporters however successfully obtained an order stopping the removal of luggage carriers from bus roofs.

Mr Justice George Odunga also allowed the case to proceed, saying he would decide on whether to stop the enforcement of the new transport rules on Wednesday.

“The regulations contain illegal issues that require investigations by court,” said Justice Odunga.

Disabled people

Consequently, the judge directed the bus owners, the Transport Cabinet Secretary, the National Transport and Safety Authority, Inspector General of Police David Kimaiyo and the Attorney General to appear in court on Wednesday. 

The bus owners’ claimed that if the regulations are implemented, there will be no place to carry wheelchairs of the physically disabled when they travel.

“The end result is that physically disabled people will be turned away from travel merely to comply with this draconian regulations. Operators of PSV long distance buses need to ensure that persons with disabilities are treated with dignity and respect and to be addressed and referred to in a manner that is not demeaning,” the bus owners lawyer Harrison Kinyanjui argued.

Serviceable vehicles

The rules stipulate that all matatus must belong to a sacco. The sacco needs to have minimum of 30 serviceable vehicles to be registered as public service vehicles.

Each vehicle also needs to have a driver, an inspector for each route, an office manager, accounts clerk, a qualified mechanic or a contract for mechanical services. 

Staff working in the industry also need insurance.

Matatus crew should not work for more than eight hours a day. 

Operators are also supposed to instal a management system that among others, shows any accidents in which any vehicle on the route may have been involved in and attach a verified copy of accident report.