Some 100 Boda boda operators graduated from a training programme sponsored by the Kenya Roads Board (KRB) at the North Eastern College in Garissa in a bid to reduce road accidents and induce discipline among the sector.
The riders went through rigorous training on road safety rules, how to evade preventable accidents and financial management lessons on how they can be more productive in the country’s economy.
Speaking during the graduation ceremony, KRB’s finance manager Martin Agumbi said that the board had been conducting such training countrywide since the government called for registration of all boda boda operators last year.
“By training the boda boda riders, educating them on road rules and providing necessary equipment as our social responsibility programme, we ensure boda boda-related road crashes are reduced,” Agumbi said.
Agumbi added that more collaborative projects were in the works and more would be done to ensure that road related injuries and deaths reduced significantly in other parts of the country experiencing road accidents.
Garissa CEC for roads Nassir Mohamed appreciated the KRB for sponsoring the programme and urged other cyclists to grab the opportunity to receive proper training with both hands to ensure roads are safer for pedestrians and other motorists alike.
Mohamed said that while the sector had proved to be a crucial one in driving the economy of the country by employing hundreds of youth, the issue of safety should also be given the seriousness it deserves if lives are to be saved and injuries reduced on the roads.
“Many operators don’t attend driving schools, have no license and are not insured. Many learn how to ride in the morning and start carrying passengers in the afternoon with virtually zero understanding of traffic regulations. The result is the high number of accidents, many of them fatal,” Mohamed said.
Nasir also used the opportunity to call on the riders to be quick to point out the few criminal elements causing insecurity in the town saying that they were the ones soiling their good name.
“We have a small group of rotten boda boda operators who have been causing havoc in this town. They are involved in muggings, phone snatching and in worst case scenarios some people have lost their lives due to stabbing by people riding on motorbikes,” he said.
“Those using motorcycles to cause insecurity through mugging, transportation of illegal substances and other criminal activities will be dealt with accordingly. This is because they are destroying the public image of boda boda operators all around the county,” he added.
By John Kinyanjui