Police in Makuyu impounded two matatus on Wednesday after students were spotted hanging from their windows.
Assistant county commissioner Monicah Mwende said the students were on their way from Gititu Secondary School where a closing ceremony had taken place.
Residents alerted officers, noting the danger the passengers were in and obstruction of other motorists.
“We received graphic evidence of the two matatus and immediately liaised with the traffic department to have them intercepted,” Mwende said.
The matatus were stopped at Gakungu area, on their way to the Kenol-Sagana highway, and were driven to Makuyu police station.
Mwende reported that a vehicle from Kirinyaga county was impounded last week for ferrying too many students. The minibus with a capacity for 32 had 53 learners.
Un-uniformed students of Gititu Secondary School get into a police car after they were found hanging from the windows of a matatu, August 8, 2018. /ALICE WANGECHI
The official warned operators of public service vehicles against overloading and speeding, especially when transporting students. She said they will be held accountable for misbehaviour by students found in their vehicles.
“If the students misbehave, we want operators to report them to the nearest police stations because they are underage and cannot be responsible for themselves,” she said.
“Allowing students to hang from the windows of a matatu is endangering their lives unnecessarily.”
Mwende also put bar owners on the spot, warning that they will be prosecuted if they let students in. She noted that they are required to ask for IDs and to bar underage people.
“Some of these children are big-bodied and may look like adults, which is why we want operators to check their identification,” she said.
On Tuesday, President Uhuru Kenyatta issued a directive aimed at lowing the number of accidents, following the deaths of 11 St Gabriel Academy pupils.
He said school buses should be driven to the nearest secondary schools after 6pm for trips to continue the next day.
“It is better to be late by one day than to lose a life,” he pointed out.