The National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) has launched an initiative to reduce deaths and serious injuries from road traffic crashes.
The Bloomberg Initiative for Global Road Safety (BIGRS) is geared towards strengthening laws, policies and actions that are proven to save lives.
Interior and Coordination of National Government Cabinet Secretary (CS) Dr. Fred Matiang’i said that Bloomberg is one of the many international companies that have chosen Kenya as their destination to reach out to the rest of the region.
In a speech read on his behalf by Secretary for Internal Security Mr. Wilson Njenga on Wednesday at a Nairobi hotel during the official launch of the initiative, Matiang’i noted that Kenya is a peaceful country, quite conducive for investment and has a listening and proactive government.
“Since 2007, Bloomberg Philanthropies has saved lives and reduced injuries from traffic crashes by supporting the implementation of road safety interventions in 45 cities and provinces,” said Matiang’i.
He added that Bloomberg is advocating for stronger national road safety in 14 countries and improving vehicle safety standards in 4 regional markets.
Matiang’i commended the support by Bloomberg Philanthropies towards road safety in Thika and Naivasha during phase 1.
“We now look forward to the phase 3 Bloomberg initiative for global safety 2020-2025 being launched here today,” he said.
Bloomberg has set strategies to improve on road safety including strengthening national legislation, enhancing data collection and surveillance, changing road user behavior, improving road infrastructure and upgrading vehicle safety.
In her remarks, Programme Director, Bloomberg Philanthropies Kelly Larson said that they were proud to partner with the Kenya government to strengthen road safety efforts that would save lives.
“We are delighted that Kenya has joined the six year initiative along with 14 other countries around the world and we are supporting work in 28 other cities including Mombasa,” said Larson.
At the same time, the chairperson of the National Transport and Safety Authority Mrs. Agnes Odhiambo said that the Authority is committed to reducing fatalities and severity by 50 per cent by 2030.
“The work with the World Health Organization (WHO) and partners through the Bloomberg Philanthropies Initiative for Global Road Safety will be key to supporting our efforts to save lives and push forward progress,” said Odhiambo.
She noted that the key areas that required intervention included review of the public service regulations that govern the operation of public service vehicles, operators and drivers, development and enactment of school transport regulations to provide safe environment within school zones, development and enactment of heavy commercial vehicles, development and enactment of drink driving regulations and motor vehicle inspection regulation.
By Jedida Barasa and Mwereza K Sorotina