Coastweek -- In
terms of getting solutions to the boda boda menace that is
developing in Kenya, one need not go too far,
writes TETI KAMUGUNDA.
It could be easy
enough to apply the Michuki Rules since some of the bones that
one would need to make them work are already in place.
The riders need to
be reined in and put into organisations that can be held
accountable for their behaviour.
In order to get some
semblance of normality to the boda boda trade, it is necessary
to take some probably disruptive actions that will in the long
term result into a more orderly transportation mode that is safe
and can be trusted.
The first thing to
be done is to get a reputable central testing agency to retest
ALL the existing licensed riders to a high level of competence
and also on defensive driving techniques.
If they fail then
they have to go through certified training – free of charge-and
then get retested in order to retain their license.
If they fail a
second time then they will be disqualified from driving.
Once the riders pass
their test they should be issued with the new (promised)
electronic chip licenses where infringements can be recorded by
The punishments for
non conformance when operating or causing accidents or not
driving according to the Traffic Act and Highway Code should be
elevated to double what they are now to really make it onerous
to have an accident or to not follow the rules.
The next thing that
should be done, which is in accordance to the Michuki Rules, is
to ensure that all the riders belong to a SACCO (or Savings and
Credit Cooperative Organisations).
These SACCOs will be
held jointly accountable for the behaviour of all the riders who
are members of that organisation.
agencies should have a graduated way of punishing the members
depending on the magnitude of the offence and also on the number
of offences by the members of the SACCO.
This way all riders
will be stopped from riding for a given period of time as a
collective punishment for the misdemeanours of its members.
The SACCO will be
given all the data in real time about the behaviour of their
members so that they can use that information in corrective as
well as preventive training of its members.
The way they behave
and analysis of the accidents can be used in sessions of all the
members of the SACCO either in small focus groups or in general
session – especially when the organisation is close to being
suspended from operation.
requirement is for the riders belonging to a particular
organisation will be dressed in uniform that can identify then
easily. The reflective bibs that they wear should also have
information about which SACCO they belong to as well as the name
of the rider.
This will help
everyone quickly and positively identify the rider who is
involved in any misdemeanour.
It would also be
good if the bikes that the riders use are also identified by
colour as to which SACCO they belong.
This is in addition
to the fact that the same information can be held on line
alongside the registration number.
Each bike should
have an RFID number - which the NTSA is already introducing –
which can aid in remote identification of the bike in case the
riders are trying to hide by changing number plates.
agencies should carry out the cleansing exercise over a period
of say two years in which the registration, training of all the
riders to the desired standard is achieved.
The SACCOs should
also have a common rider management system that is linked into
the enforcement agency so that they can work together in making
the business safer and gain respect.
If they do this, in
several years they will become kosher and a good income earning
proposal for our youth in Kenya.
As Kachumbari says,
boda bodas done right could be an important carriage system for
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