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Gov’t Spokesperson calls for concerted efforts in dealing with road accidents

The government has reaffirmed its commitment to safeguarding lives and properties of citizens assuring that road safety agencies will enforce the law to ensure roads are safe and that motorists who flout traffic rules are apprehended and prosecuted.

Government Spokesperson Isaac Mwaura said that this initiative cannot be undertaken by the government alone and that it needs the collaboration and support of all road users, in changing the grim narratives around the road carnage in Kenya.

“Accordingly, we urge motorists and other road users to observe traffic rules, all road users to share roads responsibly, drivers, and vehicle owners, sacco/company officials to comply with the laws relating to routes, timing and overloading and call on pedestrians to report all incidences of traffic violations by drivers including in public transport,” said Dr Mwaura.

Speaking in Nairobi on Thursday during a press briefing, Dr Mwaura said that road crash statistics from the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) indicate that we have lost 1,189 lives as at April 1, 2024. This is a 5.3 percent increase within the same period last year when we lost a total of 1,129 lives.

“The report also indicates that the leading causes of road accidents in Kenya include, drivers exceeding speed limits, late night travel, lane indiscipline, driver fatigue, route unfamiliarity, use of un-roadworthy motor vehicles, driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol,” explained Mwaura.

Other reasons include crossing of roads by pedestrians at undesignated places, untrained and inexperienced riders as well as the failure to wear protective and reflective gears like helmets, vests among other factors.

Dr Mwaura highlighted that when analysed by road user categories, statistics indicate that pedestrians continue to lead the number of fatalities at 436 while motorcyclists follow at 276.

“In particular, passengers’ road user category has presented the highest increase (20.6 percent) while motorcyclists’ category has presented a decrease of 11.3 percent. Further, pedestrian, passenger, and pedal cyclist categories have shown an increase in fatalities reported during the period under review,” he said.

“Sadly, these are not just numbers and statistics. They are our fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers and children, whose lives have been cut short through road carnage,” said the Government Spokesperson.

On the ongoing strike by healthcare workers, Dr Mwaura said that the government is in talks with the representatives of the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Union (KMPDU), to address the persistent issues affecting Kenya’s healthcare sector.

“The Conciliation Committee, also known as the whole-of-nation approach Committee, convened on 21st March 2024 and afterward on 27th March 2024, to fast track the process and to mediate on the matters raised by the Union,” said Mwaura.

He explained that accordingly, the National government has initiated varied measures to meet its obligations and responsibilities including, providing grants and scholarships for eligible postgraduate medical officers, paying basic salary arrears and obtaining budgetary support of Sh2.4 billion for the immediate deployment and posting of the 2023/2024 cohort of medical student interns.

On school holidays, Mwaura said, “Our school-going children will be with us for the next few days, requiring our utmost care, support and guidance during this holiday season. This will include counseling them on the dangers of drug and substance abuse and providing those with addiction challenges, the requisite rehabilitation services.”

He explained that as a government, they are keen on the re-integration of addicts and are also committed to suppressing both the supply and demand of illicit alcohol, narcotic drugs, and psychotropic substances within the schools and residential areas.

“Accordingly, the National Government is putting up several treatment and rehabilitation centres. It will also work with County Governments to ensure that similar centers are established in all the 47 Counties, to provide accessible, affordable and quality treatment and rehabilitation services to all the public,” said Mwaura.

By Joseph Ng’ang’a

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