Motorists urged to drive carefully to reduce accidents

Counties Editor's Pick Governance Mombasa

The latest report on road safety attributes speeding to the rise of carnage on Kenyan highways that claimed several lives in recent times.

Reports by the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) and the Kenya Police show that about 4,000 Kenyans lose their lives annually through road accidents with the numbers increasing by about five percent in 2022.

Speaking in Mombasa during the World Day of remembrance for road traffic victims, NTSA Deputy Regional Director for the Coast John Pateroi said it was important for drivers to observe speed limits as he attributed to human failure for most of the road crashes witnessed in the country.

“We want to push for the reduction of road crashes by at least 50 percent by the year 2030 by encouraging safe driving because 90 percent of crashes are caused by human error, the mechanical error is very minimal contributing less than 10 percent,” said Pateroi.

Pateroi called on drivers to be cautious on the road and consider other road users.

“It’s important we become cautious on the road, observe speed limits and consider other users of the road, especially pedestrians, and ensure vehicles are well maintained and well serviced to be on the road,” Pateroi said.

The World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims is commemorated on the third Sunday of November every year.

It is a global event to remember the many millions who have been killed and seriously injured on the world’s roads and to acknowledge the suffering of all affected victims, families, and communities.

About 1.2 million people lose their lives to road carnage across the world with millions of others left with life-threatening injuries.

Pateroi said NTSA is now working closely with the County Government of Mombasa on initiatives to come up with transport systems that will separate pedestrians from vehicles to take care of non-motorized vehicles.

He said that agencies working on roads are now keen to separate pedestrians from vehicles as they do roads.

“We have realized several challenges with our roads one being engineering which we are keen to look at so that we separate pedestrians from vehicles. We are working with agencies like KENHA so that we construct roads to ensure we separate pedestrians from vehicles,” he said.

Mombasa County Chief Officer in the Department of Transport and Infrastructure Engineer Albert Keino said that the county was committed to ensuring that the most vulnerable road users are protected through enforcement measures and designs to ensure people are safe.

Eng. Keino said that the county has partnered with the Bloomberg Initiative for Global Road Safety to redesign the streets of Mombasa to ensure that pedestrians and all other road users are safe.

Bloomberg Initiative for Global Road Safety is a multi-country programme that aims to reduce road crash fatalities and injuries and is supported by Bloomberg Philanthropists.

“We acknowledge that sustainable cities are for people to live in that is why we are trying to reclaim the streets to be safe areas for people to live. The streets are for everybody not only for cars,” said Keino.

The County Government and Bloomberg are expected to launch a road safety report on November 28 that is expected to mitigate challenges of road safety faced on the roads in Mombasa.

Kevin Ismail the communications coordinator for Bloomberg initiative for global road safety said that they have been offering technical support to the county as they push for safer roads.

The support has been in the form of surveillance, enforcement and communication and rolling out mass media campaigns on road safety outlining speeding as a major factor.

“We try to promote road safety in the city and make the public understand that speeding is a major risk of road crashes. We plan to roll out mass media campaigns on speeding as a major risk factor because we want to achieve safer streets in Mombasa,” said Ismail.

Ruth Machocho a survivor of a road crash urged motorists to be careful on the road as she warned against drunk-driving and speeding.

Ruth lost her left foot early this year after a speeding car veered off the road and knocked pedestrians leaving one dead and several injured.

“It just happened so quickly, I was having a chat with a bodaboda guy then I heard a loud bang. The person who was standing next to me died on the spot as we were rushed to the hospital.

“That is when my left foot had to be amputated from the knee down,” she said.

She however remains hopeful that she will walk again using a prosthesis.

Ruth said that life has changed as she continues healing the healing process and coming to terms with the changes in her life.

“Life has changed, but I am moving on with the healing process. It’s a journey and a half that needs lots of courage and faith believing you will be able to walk again yet you were born normal,” she said.

By Sadik Hassan

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