The government has issued an advisory for those planning to travel to different places during the festive season.
Government spokesperson, Col (Rtd) Cyrus Oguna, during a meeting with Matatu Owners Association delegates and other stakeholders on Friday, December 3, issued a travel advisory to commuters on what they should look out for in the vehicles they book or board.
The meeting saw the government reach a collaborative agreement with matatu owners on ensuring efficiency and safety during the festive season which has always been characterised by a high number of road carnages and loss of lives.
The retired military man advised members of the public to avoid using vehicles that are not licensed but operating as public service vehicles. He argued that such vehicles risk the lives of the passengers.
“Using such vehicles may put your life at risk as many of the drivers may not have valid drivers and vehicle licenses to transport passengers,” Oguna cautioned.
To further enlighten the travellers, Oguna shared a simple way to check if the matatu is licensed and in good condition. According to the information he provided, one can check if a public service vehicle is licensed by using National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) online portal.
“To check if the matatu you want to board is licensed and in good condition, use the NTSA application,” Oguna advised.
In the cases where a driver is reckless on the road, he advised travellers to report using the same NTSA application. In case one does not have access to the application, Oguna directed them to report to the respective Sacco offices.
To matatu operators and other road users, Oguna directed them to strictly adhere to all traffic rules put in place by the road safety authority. He also asked them to observe the Covid-19 management rules set by the Ministry of Health.
“During this festive season, we urge Kenyans who will travel across the country using road transport to exercise caution on the road,” Oguna noted.
He praised the matatu owners for their collaborative efforts with the national government in empowering and informing the citizens at the height of the pandemic.
“Matatus have helped run various campaigns, especially during the pandemic through stickers that carry various messages. This provided information that empowers our people and gives them the ability to make informed decisions.”
This advisory comes even as some Saccos record one hundred per cent booking capacity ahead of the festivities. Most matatus heading to the Western part of the country were fully booked as early as mid-November.
This sends a clear indication of the number of people planning to travel to various places during this festive season.