Government to lift night travel ban in two weeks’ time
NAIROBI, KENYA: The government has indicated it will lift ban on night travel by Passenger Service Vehicles in two weeks’ time.
Transport PS Paul Mwangi on Wednesday told Members of Parliament that the night travel ban of PSVs will be lifted in two weeks’ time revealing that the ministry has been in talks with stakeholders and the ban will be lifted selectively.
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The National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) banned long-distance night travel at the end of last year (2017) as a measure to curb road accidents which led to numerous deaths in the month of December.
The announcement made on the eve of New Year followed bus-truck collision at Migaa area along the infamous Nakuru-Eldoret road claiming over 30 lives, leaving scores others injured.
The Authority said most of the accidents occur at night prompting the decision to ban passenger service vehicles from ferrying commuters at night.
The ban on night travel caught many travellers who were on the countryside for Christmas and New Year celebrations by surprise; many were left stranded.
Most of those affected spent the night at booking offices after bus companies started complying with the new directive.
The PS spoke at a meeting with Members of Parliament on Wednesday; NTSA officials, PS John Mosonik, traffic commandant Jacinta Kinyua also attended to respond to the Salgaa road accidents.
The parliamentary transport committee led by Pokot south MP David Pkosing also grilled the NTSA, traffic, ministry of roads and transport over deaths on roads.
Last week, a Nakuru Court dealt the night travel ban a blow after releasing drivers who had been charged with driving at night saying there is no law that prohibits night travel.
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Nakuru Resident Magistrate Nancy Makau released 13 drivers who were arrested on January 11 night and taken to court on account that the vehicles they were driving did not have a licence allowing them to operate during those hours.
Passengers who were in the 13 vehicles including two buses belonging to Coast Air were forced to spend the night at Mwariki Police Station.
The vehicles were released to their owners on Friday morning but the drivers taken to court.
“Looking at provisions of NTSA Act, the charges as brought to court do not create an offence and as such the charge sheet is thus not admitted under Section 89 of the Criminal Procedure Code,” said the magistrate.