Motorcycles are some of the riskiest transport means in Kenya today. Despite the convenience they provide, a bodaboda ride can be a hair-raising experience. Unfortunately, the ride can also leave you maimed for live or worse, dead.
The commercial motorcycle riders (bodabodas) exhibit some recklessness and a don’t care attitude that makes them a no-no for some travellers. Although they’re meant for just one passenger at a time, it is not unusual to find some ferrying even up to four passengers at a time.
One rider in Nakuru West says he uses his motorcycle to ferry school children. The rider who chooses to remain anonymous can at times carry up to five school children at a time.
“I don’t charge the kids a lot. They’re light and with time they’ve learnt to arrange themselves on the motorcycle,” says the rider. His peak hours are in the morning taking the children to school and in the late afternoon as he takes them home.
Hamisi Mutura, a politician and community leader in Rhoda, Nakuru West says there should be a law regulating motorcycles.
“I think it’s high time our County through the County Assembly came up with laws regulating motorcycle operators,” says Hamisi.
He says the regulation will both reduce accidents, ease congestion and save lives.
Some of the riders lack the necessary training, skills and experience needed before engaging in public transport.
“It should be mandatory for every bodaboda operator to have a licence. The police should strictly enforce this,” proposes Hamisi.
Hamisi also proposes that the bodabodas should be banned from operating in the CBD and to be completely banned from ferrying school children.
The riders also sometimes carry unwieldy luggage with passengers on top. This is not only dangerous to the bodaboda rider and his passenger, but also to other road users.