By Patrick L okeyo
1st picture is for Nyamira Express photo taken by Nyarangi Mogambi of Raleigh NC and second pic. is Greyhound a USA bus company.
The word governor is one with different dimensions of responsibility. The governor is in politics, motor vehicle and in banking sector. The name governor has some special implications that may not be violated.
When the governor is elected by the power of the people he is given the mandate to uphold and enforce the law of the locality. The law of the locality guides the governor to make his decisions. The financial law makes the financial governor of the central bank to adjudicate guidelines of financial institutions.
The word governor whether in politics, banking or for motor vehicles, is not a name to tamper with. The word is woken up when Kenyan bus drivers during Christmas are paid hefty allowances to drive passengers from townships to upcountry in a hurry or rush so that they could come back and get another load of passengers so as to capture another hefty cash allowance.
The hefty cash allowance makes them drive those buses regardless of the law at high speed because their companies have violated their speed governors by tampering with the devices that govern the speed of those buses. So these companies don’t respect the law; with high hope and respect officers from department of transportation should observe what the laws governing transportation require.
The interference of those speed governors have caused terrible accidents while department of transportation is watching without inspecting the governors of those buses. The government of the day should ensure that hefty allowances are not paid during Christmas season to rush to and return to pick another load of passengers. A living government with officials in office and inspectors on payroll must understand its role and responsibility. I hope Kenya doesn’t have a day time government but at night the key is lost.
Kenya’s bus accidents were down during Hon Michuki’s tenure. In Kenya most accidents are caused by speeding, overloading, sleeping behind wheels due to fatigue and tampering with speed governor without mentioning a few companies allocating their vehicles to inexperienced drivers. In North America unlike Kenya, no company can take a chance to even dream of altering the speed device as installed by the dealer. Bus accidents occur due to fog, snow with freezing roads with a few avoidable accidents. Remember no country is immune from accidents; but Kenya’s transportation companies are given zero grazing allowance to do and practice dirty business of making money at the expense of people’s lives.
Quite unthinkable how one driver can drive a bus from Nairobi to Kampala, Dar-es-Salaam and back to Nairobi. Somewhere one party is not thinking right or both are compromised. When fuel prices are up by Ksh. 50 cents, bus owners and matatu operators add Ksh. 50.00 without the government having a say on it. Bus and Matatu owners really own the business and even transportation sector because a government that doesn’t say anything is cheering something.
Birds of the air make their own nests when in Kenya although illegal bus companies make their own speed governors. Now who is violating what; the birds or the business owners? At least birds use natural grass to make their nests while bus companies illegally overpass dealers to install their own governors. Every year papers say police department is recruiting officers; since independence avoidable accidents have taken innocent lives without harsh punishment; I don’t know whether the government is a name, a flag, the constitution or none of those! I would say none of those because action should have been taken if there is responsibility.
“The Black Spot”
Kenya’s highways nicknamed black spots come as a result of the nature and the outcome of obvious avoidable accidents. Nairobi-Mombasa highway between Mtito wa Ndei is a famous black spot area that has claimed many innocent lives due to road accidents. “Black spot” areas are not tourist attractions but unexpected life ending places or notorious motor vehicle injury places.
Some black spot areas are the drivers who operate these vehicles and who work beyond normal service hours until they get out of service and at times they delegate duty to unlicensed bus conductors who cause bad accidents. Out of service driving which means that the driver is supposed to take a rest but anyway due to making more money or demands from his boss to drive, they cause accidents.
There is no professional driving school that can encourage student drivers to drive from Mombasa-Kakamega and back without 10 hours’ rest. This is what Kenyan tycoons who own these businesses do to avoid hiring more drivers just to fill their pockets at the cost of human deaths in their buses.
The police traffic department, business owners and the ministry of transport should collaborate to monitor drivers, and when they have worked 11 hours a day, they should be put of service by taking a 10 hours rest before the next route. The ministry of transport should circulate tags that drivers are to use while they are on and off duty to be held by DOT (traffic officers) when the driver is taking a rest and given back to the driver when the driver gets on duty.
There is no way the country will sit back to watch human beings being bundled like cargo and killed uselessly by money mongers aimlessly without taking serious necessities to inform consumers of their rights. It is illegal to drive more than 10 hours a day without 8 hours break.
Greyhound bus company is an interstate bus in North America.