Police in Kitale Wednesday impounded nine tractors and one lorry and arrested the drivers for transporting sugarcane to a processing firm in Kakamega.
Trans Nzoia West OCPD Jackson Mwenga said that the drivers were arrested for flouting traffic rules.
This comes after several accidents caused by tractors ferrying cane saw over 20 people killed in two weeks along Kitale Webuye road.
Mwenga, said the move was aimed at ridding off all unroadworthy vehicles and reign in on rogue drivers who don’t observe traffic rules.
The vehicles will be subjected to an inspection to ascertain if they are road worthy and compliant. We shall later prosecute the drivers with appropriate charges, said Mwenga.
Several leaders from Bungoma and Trans Nzoia have asked the sugar firms to stop transporting sugar cane at night citing lack of lights on the tractors.
On Saturday, Kiminini MP Chris Wamalwa challenged the Kenya National Highways Authority (KENHA) to put up all necessary road signage and bumps on the road in line with the Roads Act to help drivers adhere to traffic rules.
We also want the sugar companies to ensure contracted tractors that don’t observe traffic rules are not put on the road, Mr. Wamalwa spoke at Kisawayi during the burial of Mr. Iva Kirong’, a victim of the Kamukuywa road accident.
On Monday, Trans Nzoia deputy Governor Stanley Tarus asked sugar firms to stop transporting the cane at night.
We had also banned the growth of sugarcane in this county but this was defied. We call on the assembly to pass a law to bar growth of the crop which hampers the maize yield, said Mr. Tarus.
On his part, Bungoma Governor Wycliffe Wangamati had a meeting with the management of West Kenya Sugar factory where it was agreed that no cane trailers will be allowed on Bungoma roads past 6:00pm until the new Transport Bill by the County Assembly on Road Safety is passed.
The recent accident occurred at Maliki centre Last Friday where seven people were killed after a tractor ferrying cane rammed into an oncoming matatu.
In another accident that involved a cane tractor on the same road at Kamukuwya Bridge in Bungoma, six passengers died.
At the same spot, 14 people were killed in December last year that involved a tractor, Public Service Vehicle and three saloon cars.
Source: Kenya News Agency