Sammy Maina: I reported the killer bus to NTSA three months ago but was ignored

Matunda Bus Corporation bus which killed 38 people at the weekend for speeding and flouting other traffic rules and had earlier been reported [Courtesy]

A motorist reported Matunda Bus Corporation, whose bus killed 38 people at the weekend, for speeding and flouting other traffic rules, but the authorities ignored the complaint.

Three months after the complaint that was disregarded, a bus from the company collided with a truck at Migaa between Sachang’wan and Salgaa centres on December 31 in a horrific accident that has sparked a public uproar. 

Mr Sammy Maina, who travels frequently between Nairobi and Nakuru, said he reported the bus to both the highway traffic police in Naivasha and the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA), but was ignored.

Fresh details that will further put the NTSA on the spot show that Mr Maina, who had video evidence to back up his report, had told the transport authority to take action on the notorious bus but was instead given the standard response of “give us your name and email address, we shall get back to you.” They never did.

“I am a regular road user and I have a camera on my dash board. I was heading to Naivasha at around 8am in September when the bus overtook me on the wrong side of the road at around Soko Mjinga area before Kinungi,” Mr Maina told The Standard yesterday.

Several blunders

 “The driver made several blunders and nearly caused an accident. He was driving carelessly and nearly hit an oncoming Toyota Vitz. He repeated the same mistake at Kinungi,” Maina said.  

He explained that he reported the matter to traffic police at the Naivasha road block and since he felt that they had not taken the matter seriously enough, he escalated it to the NTSA through his Twitter handle, Big Sam.

Maina posted the video footage as evidence but NTSA asked for his full name and promised to get back to him.

“Thanks for contacting NTSA. Kindly send through your full name, email address, and phone number. We’ll get back to you shortly,” NTSA said in its standard response that is rarely followed up with action. He also posted the complaint on the NTSA Facebook timeline on September 26.

In one of the videos he shared with The Standard, the bus can be seen driving on the wrong side of the road, ignoring the continuous yellow line that prohibits vehicles from overtaking. The driver swerves dangerously as he overtakes a small car and a lorry while taking up nearly two other lanes on the wrong side.

Maina said he was saddened to learn that a bus from the same transport company had collided with a truck in an accident that left 38 people dead and several others injured.

The dawn accident, which has seen the NTSA ban night travel for public transport vehicles, has exposed the soft underbelly of the authorities tasked with road safety.