Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet has refuted suggestions that there isn’t a clear structure to manage traffic within the National Police Service. This comes a day after the horrific Fort Ternan bus accident in Kericho that claimed the lives of 56 passengers, including women and children. “Managing traffic is one of the core duties of the police service,” said Boinnet during a press conference with NTSA officials, adding that initially there was one hierarchical structure with a commandant, but it was a complicated structure that didn’t give the County commander power to manage traffic in the region. “Enforcing traffic law is the responsibility of the regional commander with the County commander, OCPDs and Officer Commanding Stations,” he said, reiterating that the Kericho regional commander was responsible for traffic laws.
The Kakamega-destined bus from Nairobi, under the Western Crossroads Express Sacco, was allegedly operating under an expired insurance certificate, a claim that was denied by NTSA Director General Francis Mejja, who insisted the expiry date was set for 19th October. Concerns about the passenger capacity were also raised, but Mejja said the number of passengers in the vehicle at the time of the accident wasn’t confirmed, “The number of people the bus is licensed to carry is 62, from the figure we have right now it seems this bus was carrying 71 people…however, there were several children in that bus, we still don’t know how many children were there to fully determine the number,” he said.
The horrific accident has ignited concerns by Kenyans as the December holidays draw nigh, with eyes turned to other accident blackspots. Police IG Boinnet said plans are in place to ensure the roads are free of accidents ahead of the festive season and urged Kenyans to be responsible instead of depending on the police only, “It’s up to us to exercise a greater sense of responsibility,” he said.