Now, when news broke that the famed “Michuki Rules” were set for a comeback tour courtesy of the steely Interior Cabinet Secretary Dr. Fred Matiang’i and Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet; and the subsequent threat by the matatu sector to down tools, most commuters across the country knew the forecast for the week ahead was gloomy.
Indeed, the internet was dotted with reports of hiked fares and surging crowds at bus stops as #WalkingNation became a reality.
At this point, many would been furiously scrolling through their phone book looking for that colleague who you rarely speak to but know lives in the neighbourhood and drives to work. In actual fact, while carpooling might not have caught on as much here, many were forced to turn to this alternative or simply hitch rides with good Samaritans just to get by. It’s a welcome practice, but how do you ensure you stay safe while at it?
In the midst of all the angst when the matatu crackdown was at its peak, some heart-warming tales of good Samaritans offering rides free of charge to stranded commuters also came to the fore. While this was definitely a win for humanity, we should also be alive to the fact that this might open up room for callous miscreants to commit crime in the name of offering help.
Sometimes, you are better off picking the phone and reaching out to that pesky colleague instead. Given the opportunity, prefer to carpool with people you know well and trust.
- Exchange Information:
Knowing your ride partner’s name and phone number might not be enough. You should also know where they work for instance, and maybe even go a step further and ask for emergency contacts, preferably one from their place of work and one family member.
It might sound like a bit much but you can never be too safe, right?
- Keep Family Members Posted:
Always remember to let your family or loved ones know once you arrive at work safely. Many do this when on travelling long distances, but why not adopt the same practice as part of your daily routine? Some would go ahead to keep their loved ones posted on progress as they go along in traffic as well, and this would certainly help especially should things go awry on your way to work or home.
- Road Safety:
At the end of the day, the most important thing is that you get to your destination safely. You are at liberty to voice your concern if the driver on the day seems distracted, is on their phone while behind the wheel, is driving too fast and so on. If you continue to feel unsafe in the car, you are well within your rights to abort mission and abandon ship!
P.S: Try not to be late for your carpool – this means the driver will not have to speed, overlap or break other traffic laws just to get to work on time. Otherwise, this will probably be you: