A number of Tour guides have complained of harassment by the police over bull bars on their vehicles.
Meeting yesterday at a local hotel in Ngara, the tour guides under the auspice of the Kenya Safari guides, said they will petition interior CS Fred Matiangi to reign in on what they called “rogue police officers “manning several roadblocks.
At least 56 members of the Kenya safari Guides attended the meeting.
“A tour vehicle is a custom built vehicle. We cannot all afford to buy high end 4×4. Some of us can only afford the normal Toyota Hiace or Nissan caravan and we then reinforce them with bull bars,” said Wllis Sande a tour guide.
He added that the bull bars are meant to upgrade the tour vehicles to help tow others in case they are stuck in the game parks and game reserves and protect the body of the vehicle while driving in bushy sections of the park.
“Some police officers are just stubborn and think these are additives for pleasure. Police in Kabete area Nairobi, Naivasha and Muguga are very notorious for harassing tour vehicles,” he said.
Sande added that in most cases, the tour vehicles are stopped by Administration Police officers who have no knowledge of traffc rules.
He added that some traffic police officers harass them on flimsy grounds saying “tourist have a lot of money. Please ask them to share something small with us”
Omar Machio another tour guide added that the constant harassment of tour vehicles with tourists onboard has painted a negative image of Kenya.
He said the ministry of tourism does allot and spends millions to market Kenya abroad as a tourist destination but all that is tainted by the “uncouth” police on the roads.
According to the traffic act cap 403 of the laws of Kenya and traffic rules 41 and 42, bull bars are not forbidden on any vehicle.
The rules only forbid one from exceeding the axel load limits set out in the act.
In 2015, the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) wrote to all motor vehicle inspectors to allow bull bars fitted on tour vans while carrying out inspection.
“By a copy of this letter, all motor vehicle inspectors are directed o allow tour van retain bull bars” said Engineer G.K Wangai, the NTSAa director of motor vehicle inspection.