There is need to engage and sensitize road users in the country to have attitude and behavioral change in order to reduce road carnage.
A Board Member with National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA), Mr Francis Kirinya Mwongo, said that the Authority will engage with boda boda riders, pedestrians, drivers, passengers and school children to educate them on how to use the road hence reduce loss of lives.
“We will engage boda boda riders within stages, pedestrians at market places, drivers/passengers within bus stops and children in learning institutions to impart them with knowledge aimed at bringing change on how to use the road hence reduce the number of accidents occurring on our roads,” said Mwongo during the Launch of ‘Usalama Barabarani’ (Road Safety Campaign) at Kambi Mawe Primary School.
He disclosed that NTSA will distribute materials such as boda boda reflective vests, branded aprons cyclist vest, lollipop stop signs and reflective school bags covers that will be given to selected schools along high risk roads.
During the exercise, 150 pupils of Kambi Mawe Primary School were given reflective bag covers besides being sensitized on road safety issues.
Mwongo attributed road fatalities on over speeding, especially near school zones, unsafe school transportation, unqualified drivers, low visibility and lack of supervision as children cross busy road sections.
“Today’s event is symbolic in many ways. The location is the point where our children are molded into future leaders. They look up to us care givers and unfortunately, we are the reason for the 837 fatalities involving children under the age of 18 years in the year 2020,” he posed.
Mwongo disclosed that the Authority was working closely with the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development, to ensure road safety education is taught in learning institutions, especially in primary Schools.
Consequently, he revealed that counties with high fatalities were Kakamega, Kericho, Nairobi, Kisumu, Nakuru and Makueni with a total cases of 978 as at 31st, October 2021 whereby pedestrians were the worst affected.
“In Makueni County, we have had 97 fatal cases this year compared to 99 during the same period in 2020. This trend can be reversed if we work through a multi-agency approach,” said Mwongo.
The current statistics indicate that as at 31st October 2021, a total of 3,564 innocent lives have been lost on our roads whereby pedestrians and cyclists were the most affected with a total of 1,241 and 984 respectively.
Speaking at the same event, Makueni County Commissioner (CC), Maalim Mohammed said there was need to regulate the boda boda industry in the country noting riders operated with extreme impunity.
Further, the Administrator said there have been 35 fatalities in Makueni County in the last three months. “We have 8,523 boda boda operators and we need to regulate them. They operate with impunity as you find them carrying four passengers,” observed the County Commissioner.
Makueni County Government Executive Committee (CEC) Member for Transport, Philip Ndambuki, said most road accidents were attributable to carelessness on the part of road users.
By Patrick Nyakundi