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Police Appear To Recognise Motoring Novices
Who Are Breaking The Law And Punish Them!

Coastweek --  I watched last week as matatus broke almost every law and regulation regarding the use of the road in full view of three police patrols that had a combination of both traffic police and armed normal police, writes TETI KAMUGUNDA.

Not to be outdone, regular motorists and some other heavy goods vehicles followed suit.

The scene I am about to describe happened on a traditional single lane road somewhere in Nairobi and was typical of what can happen in any similar road anywhere in the country.

It was on Thursday last week and an accident happened on one of the single lane roads leading into the city.

Over the last few weeks, the highways authority had been busy repairing the road shoulders and drainage and restoring some of the non-paved provisions for non-motorised traffic adjacent to this road.

As it was peak traffic time, the tail back of vehicles grew rapidly in both directions away from eth scene of the accident.

For the first ten minutes or so traffic stayed in one lane leaving the lane for traffic going in the opposite free.

The boys in blue arrive at the accident scene fairly quickly and took charge of organising the resolution of the accident issues whilst some of them directed traffic through the gap left in the road.

There were cops also stationed at various junctions along this feeder road whose job was to control traffic leaving and joining the feeder road.

This was a normal activity and helped to ease traffic flow on this busy feeder road.

As a result of the accident, the traffic tail back continued to grow and the cops at the accident scene did their best to keep traffic flowing.

They would release thirty cars from one direction to go through the gap at the traffic accident scene and then do the same for the cars going in the opposite direction.

Matatu drivers, noticing the gap in traffic, decided to do what they know best and started overlapping.  The ones that started this activity were the drivers at the very back of the queue.

They would drive at high speed on the lane meant for traffic coming from the opposite direction and when they came head to head with the traffic that owned the lane, the drivers would at first try to get back into the right where they perceived gaps in between the waiting vehicles.

When such gaps vanished, as other drivers quickly closed the space, the matatu drivers decided to divert to the newly repaired shoul-ders or the provisions that were made for non-motorised traffic.

This then became the norm as the matatu drivers, followed by drivers in normal cars and then heavy com-mercial vehicles decided to move across to the shoulders in order to progress forward.

Whilst this was going on, other drivers decided to get onto the shoulders adjacent to the lane in which they were stopped and make their forward progress using this lane.

There were then three lanes of traffic going in one direction and one in the opposite direction. On the opposite side of the accident the same situation also obtained.

This all went on whilst the cops at the various junctions completely ignored their duty to ensure that drivers on the road stuck to the rules.

Single, double and triple overlapping was happening right before their eyes and instead of reprimanding the drivers who were flouting the traffic regulations, they instead changed to also control the intersections where the four lanes of traffic converged.

This put pressure on the single lane going in the opposite direction to the three lanes of overlapping traffic.

Drivers who were in the single lane had all sorts of problems as they were blinded by the dust raised by the vehicles using the shoulder whilst driving in the opposite direction.

They came face to face with drivers who decided to also take over their lane and approached with blazing or flashing headlights – especially matatus.

They boys in blue seemed to condone the blatant disregard of traffic rules and the Highway Code.

They simply waved vehicles on when they had to sort snarl ups caused by the traffic indiscretions.

Drivers emboldened by this “nod” from the traffic cops continued to drive like matadors along the wrong lanes and put the lives of pedestrians, boda boda and bicycle riders in danger.

The dust raised by driving on the recently refurbished shoulders added to the danger for these other road users.

It is this behaviour by the boys in blue that thoroughly frustrates law abiding citizens and the patient drivers.

As they try to obey the law, those that brazenly flout the laws are assisted by the cops.

Inevitably, should one of the law abiding drivers get tempted to also flout the laws they get caught and reprimanded.

The cops seem to recognise the habitual law breakers and let them get away with it and also recognise the novices at law breaking and punish them.

As Kachumbari starkly predicted: there may come a time when disheartened wananchi simply take the law into their own hands due to the complicity of the cops in encouraging traffic indiscipline.




Kenyan Traffic Bribes: System Should Begin To Operate Smoothly

Road accidents cost us three hundred billion Kenyan shillings yearly

Authorities Should All Jump In To Solve Driving Woes In This Country

Drivers Who Fail To Remove Road Rubbish Once Vehicle Is Repaired

Examination Methods Now Used To Teach Driving Needs an Overhaul

Most Sane Drivers Fear Every Time A PSV Appears Near Their Vehicle

Attempt To Level Playing Field During Political Campaigns Rubbished

Kenya Bus Service Went Bust Due Onslaught Of The Matatu Industry




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  This year’s rally will be
flagged off at Sarova
Whitesands on November
23rd and finish at the same
venue on December 1st.


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