Mombasa commuters ignoring ‘Michuki rules’

A Matatu operating in Mombasa./COURTESY

Mombasa, KENYA: Commuters in Mombasa and Coast region in general have continued to ignore traffic rules ‘Michuki rules’ meant to bring sanity to the roads.

A spot check by Baraka FM showed that passengers have continued to board vehicles and not bother wearing safety belts.

In nine out of ten matatus plying different routes here in Mombasa, only a handful of passengers fasten their seat belts.

Most times the conductors in fear of being stopped by traffic cops insist on passengers wearing safety belts.

However, speaking to this reporter, most passengers said the belts are dirty blaming it on the matatu driver and conductor.

“How can I wear a dirty safety belt? I don’’t even want to touch them when on board a matatu. Why would I dirty myself with the seat belts…it’s not a must”, lamented Ann Mwikali , a student at Mount Kenya University.

To Paul Kibisu, a driver, the seat belts are a menace and do not serve any purpose especially to matatus commuting short distances.

He says the government should instead enforce the rules to buses and matatus travelling long distance.

“To me it’s a waste of time. I don’t see why I should have a seat belt yet am heading to Saba Saba from Mwembe Tayari. It should be enforced to matatus that are travelling far distance may be from Malindi to Mombasa or Nairobi,”he says.

Mohamed Mo, a driver with SABAKI shuttle, said passengers are a difficult people to deal with.

“If one does not want to fasten the belt we tell him to get off the matatu so that he or she may not inconvenience other passengers” he said, adding that safety belt actually do saves lives during accidents.

Its now two months since Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i and his Transport counterpart James Macharia announced the enforcement of the rules as part of efforts to bring sanity in roads and reduce deaths caused by accidents.