School buses transporting students to and from the Kenya Music Festival that is underway in Nyeri County will be impounded if found in operation after 6pm.
The festival’s chairman Peter Wanjohi said teachers of participating schools will be held responsible for the safety of their students.
The directive comes after 11 pupils of St Gabriel Boarding Primary School in Mwingi died in a road crash on Saturday night.
Hawkers have also been banned from selling their wares at the Dedan Kimathi University, where the festival is being held, in an effort to protect students from possible food contamination.
This is also a measure to stop drugs and alcohol from entering the venue of the festival.
Wanjohi said Public health officers from the county will oversee preparation of all food to be consumed by the 120,000 learners who are participating in the festival.
Meanwhile, Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua has also banned vehicles in the county from ferrying students after 7pm.
” No school buses or vehicles ferrying students will be allowed to travel on Machakos roads, whether in transit or heading to a Machakos destination after 6:59 pm.” He said
Mutua said those who will defy the directive will be arrested and taken to the nearest police stations or designated “comfortable” holding areas. Their vehicles will only be released if they pay fines of not less than Sh50,000.
” Any vehicle ferrying students past that time will be stopped, the driver and the adults in the school bus arrested and the bus and children taken to the nearest police station or designated comfortable county holding area. The bus will not be released to the school until a fine of not less than Kshs. 50,000 is paid. Proper logistics planning and adherence to the law should be used when planning school trips.” He added.
Speaking during a press conference Monday, Mutua said a special unit of the inspectorate had been established to enforce this and other laws, which he noted are in line with Commuter Motor Vehicle Act, 2015 and the Machakos County Non-motorized Vehicles Act of 2016.
” To enforce this policy, I have formed a Special Enforcement Unit of the Machakos County Inspectorate to enforce and ensure compliance. The Unit will work in conjunction with the Police and other relevant Government Agencies.”Mutua said.
Mutua also announced a ban on vehicles that emit visible exhaust smoke, whether they are heading to Machakos destinations or are on transit.
” Emission of visible exhaust smoke by vehicles not only pollutes, obstructs the view of other motorists but is also contrary to County Law, Kenya Standards (KS1515) and Traffic Act Cap 403, Section 55, 56 and Rule 27. The vehicles, may they be private vehicles, public transport vehicles or lorries will be stopped and towed. They will not be allowed to be driven on Machakos roads until they are properly fixed. In addition, a fine of Kenya shillings 150,000 will be levied on vehicles that are emitting visible smoke. Therefore, if on transit, before you enter Machakos County from our neighbour counties, ensure your vehicle is road worthy and not emitting smoke.” He added.