At least 200 vehicles were on Tuesday seized and 100 drivers arrested in a police crackdown on non-compliant PSV operators in the coastal city of Mombasa.
The crackdown was spearhead by a multi-agency team along the Mombasa -Nairobi highway in Changamwe. Hundreds of learners reporting back to school and workers returning back to work after they were caught up in the crackdown that began at 4.00am today. However, students who were caught up in the crackdown were allowed to continue with their journey using alternative means. At some point, drama ensued as drivers jumped out of their moving vehicles to dodge the police dragnet. The operations paralysed transport for hours as vehicles were towed to Changamwe Police Station. The multi-agency team was led by Changamwe Police boss Issa Mohammed, his deputy Reverent Nyawa Murinzi and several police officers from the traffic department. Area police boss said a majority of the vehicles impounded had been turned into PSVs yet they do not meet the regulations, adding that the owners wanted to make a kill this season.
Out of the 200 vehicles intercepted, 30 were long-distance trailers and lorries but the drivers had turned them to ferry the passengers due to hiked fares in normal transport. ”We have intercepted the vehicles and lorries which were ferrying passengers instead of goods. The drivers have violated PSVs regulations hence endangering their lives and will be charged in courts,” said sub-county police commander. He noted that majority of the vehicles intercepted had faulty speed governors, worn-out tires and most drivers did not have driving licences. He warned that the crackdown will continue and asked the drivers to adhere to road regulations.