Matatu paratransit industry in the City of Nairobi, Kenya: effect of its reforms on road safety behaviour
The focus of the study was on the area of transport reforms in the city of Nairobi. The study endeavored to find out whether the reforms introduced by the government between 2003- 2005 have contributed to road safety behaviour. The study takes cognizance ot the government's efforts to bring reforms in the transport sub-sector through legal notice No. 161 and other policies. This study utilized both primary and secondary data and the target study area was Nairobi Eastland's. It employed purposive sampling method to sample 17 PSV's from 5 different routes. A total of 86 respondents were interviewed and 4 key informants. The study employed use of questionnaire with both closed and open ended questions and structured interviews. The data obtained both from primary and secondary sources have been analyzed largely qualitatively, and presented in a descriptive manner. The data was analyzed by use of Statistics Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS). The study findings revealed that the level of road safety behaviour continues to be very low despite the transport reforms introduced by the government. The study also observed that there is a high level of awareness by matatu crew with regards to the traffic rules. Also adherence to some of the requirements of Legal Notice No. 161 is relatively high e.g. fitting seatbelts, displaying driver photograph, uniforms e.t.c. however there still continues to be a high disregard to traffic rules. Further the study revealed that most of the drivers had attained some form of driving training in a formal institution. Majority of the matatu drivers worked full time and most of the drivers had a positive perception about the traffic rules but cited working conditions as an obstacle to following them. In conclusion it was evident that there continues to be a gap between introduction of traffic rules and effective implementation. Most of these policies introduced have not effectively captured the aspect of human behavior and attitude which can greatly influence adherence. The study made several recommendations In order to improve reforms; the need for improved working conditions of drivers, the need to actively involve matatu owners in road safety initiatives, the need for harmonization and unification of the various institutions dealing With PSV transport services, the need to monitored formal training institutions and the need for accurate data to be collected on the various matatu routes.