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NTSA attributes accidents to drunk driving, speeding and low level of awareness on road safety

The number of people killed and injured in road crashes in Kenya went up by 17.5 percent in September 2019 compared to the same period in 2018.
In statistics issued by National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) the total number of victims increased from 9,510 by September 25, 2018 to the current 11,187.
In Nakuru County Traffic Police Boss Rashid Ali, indicated that seven black spots have been identified along the Nairobi-Kisumu-Eldoret Highway. The black spots increased from four to seven in 2018.
He listed them as Kinungi, Kikopey, St. Mary’s, Free Area, Ngata, State House and Salgaa. Ali however indicated that accident cases recorded at the notorious Salgaa stretch have reduced drastically in the past year due to road improvements.
The traffic police boss said by the end of September a total of 569 people in Nakuru lost their lives in road carnage compared to 466 who died in 2018.
In the month of September alone 23 people had been killed in accidents within the devolved unit, 32 had sustained serious injuries while 33 others had sustained minor injuries.
He attributed the increased road carnage to inadequate footbridges and crossing points and failure to observe traffic rules. Boda boda riders have also been put on the spot.
They have been faulted for causing crashes, ignoring traffic rules and involvement in crime-related activities.
“Speeding, drunk driving, poor road conditions and lack of proper road signs have aggravated the situation. Following the ban on road barriers and enforcement most road users have thrown caution to the wind. Some accidents were caused by fatigued drivers, inexperienced motorists, and poor visibility especially at night and bad road conditions.
The highest number of accidents involved private cars followed by commercial vehicles. It is encouraging that the lowest incidences of accidents were recorded in public service vehicles” said Ali.
Latest data from the National Transport Safety Authority indicate that the number of those killed across the country over that period was 2,591 compared with 2,219 by end of September in 2018, representing a 16.8 per cent increase.
The number of motorcycle boda boda passengers killed on road crashes has sustained an upward trend with an increase of 34.8 percent as compared to 2018. By September 25th 2019, 248 boda boda passengers had died compared to 184 who lost their lives by the same time in 2018. Similarly, fatalities of motorcycle riders have increased by 25.8 percent from 411 cases last year to the current 517
The data by the road safety authority revealed that pedestrians accounted for the highest number of those killed, with 1005 deaths, followed by passengers at 524 while motorcyclists were third, with drivers coming fourth at 245.
The NTSA’s September 25, 2019 road safety status report stated that 4,825 people were seriously injured in road crashes compared with 3,309 in 2018. 4,618 others have so far sustained slight injuries in road carnages in 2019 as compared to 3,771 by September 25, 2018.
The report also stated that Nairobi County contributed over 20 per cent of all the national fatalities recorded by September.
The authority also attributed most road crashes to bad road user behavior such as drink-driving, speeding and low levels of road safety awareness among road users.
In Nakuru the traffic police boss said measures had been put in place to reduce the carnage particularly as the country approaches the festive season.
“We have a raft of measures in place including Cracking down unroadworthy vehicles, having traffic law enforcements on the road in collaboration with NTSA, conducting random speed checks.
We will also be Enhancing Alcohol Breathalysers (alcoblow), have regular pick hour road checks. The police will closely monitor the Black spots and will not hesistate to recommend suspension of licenses of notorious offenders,” said Ali.
ByAnne Mwale/Mark Wayne

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