One area where there has been an appalling — in fact, criminal — laxity is the failure to rein in the rogue drivers of very important personalities (VIP), especially top government officials. With the tacit endorsement by the bosses of their unruly behaviour, these drivers serially flout traffic rules and do so with blatant arrogance.
They will drive on the wrong side of the road, clearly in total disregard of the Highway Code, recklessly overtaking and intimidating other motorists and even traffic police. The VIPs, who should be role models, just sit in the vehicles as their drivers sometimes endanger their lives and those of other motorists and also pedestrians. That is unacceptable. It is because the drivers get away with such wrongdoing that a culture of impunity on the roads has, sadly, taken root.
Of course, it will take more than the efforts of one individual to get the VIP drivers and other motorists to strictly obey traffic rules. However, mounting public outrage, and the actions such as those of an activist who single-handedly confronted a convoy of government vehicles that were being driven on the wrong side of Lang’ata Road recently, are the way to go. This incident should send a loud message to the road bullies that their repugnant conduct will no longer be condoned.
It’s also a wake-up call to the Traffic Department to wake up from slumber and fully discharge its mandate. Regrettably, most of the times, police officers go to the roads hoping to profit from their presence by extorting bribes, instead of enforcing compliance with traffic rules and regulations. The VIP drivers are neither above the law nor exempted from traffic rules. To restore sanity on the roads, all must obey the rules or face punishment.