An idea from India that perhaps we should adopt in Kenya?
Most Kenyans, whether they are drivers or pedestrians, have been forced off the road or pavement by a politician’s motorcade, a line of usually expensive, black cars (filled with men in black suits) with lights flashing and even sirens blaring. Traffic jams are not a problem for them, nor are the police along the wayside.
In India, where traffic jams in many cities can even surpass those encountered on Nairobi’s often gridlocked roads, the phenomenon of those who think they are VIPs cutting a swathe through the traffic, and ordinary folk on foot, is well known: but maybe not for long.
“THERE WILL BE NO EXCEPTIONS”
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has announced that from now on only emergency service vehicles will be allowed to turn on sirens and cut through the traffic.
“From 1 May, no [unauthorised] vehicle will have a red light, India’s Finance Minister Arun Jaitley told a press conference in Dehli. “There will be no exceptions”, he said.
It has been known for people to die whilst being taken to hospital in India because other drivers ignore the sounds of sirens and flashing lights thinking it’s just another big wig pushing through.
WOULD IT WORK IN KENYA?
In theory, from now on, anyone found illegally turning on sirens and flashing light will be open to a fine of 5,000 Rupees (about Ksh 8,000).
In Kenya, the fine would have to be somewhat larger than Ksh 8,000 and then there’s the problem that the police might either not enforce the rule, or ask for “something small” to let politicians be on their way. But if it could be enforced and our leaders made to wait in traffic the same as everyone else, perhaps something would be done about the traffic chaos that blights Kenya’s capital city.