The National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) has launched a campaign to create awareness of road safety measures among road users in the country.
In the campaign, NTSA will directly engage and sensitize road users to chan
ge their attitudes and behavior while using the roads.
Speaking in Kakamega, the Chairperson of NTSA Board, Agnes Odhiambo, said the targeted groups are bodaboda riders, pedestrians, drivers and passengers.
She noted that officers from the Authority will carry out the campaigns in places where bodaboda riders park their motorbikes, and at the market places to reach out to pedestrians.
The officers, she added, will also meet drivers and passengers within bus stops and extend the campaign to children at their learning institutions.
Odhiambo said in addition to campaign messages, the Authority will distribute bodaboda reflective vests, branded aprons and cyclist vests.
It will also distribute lollipop stop signs and reflective school bag covers to selected schools, which are next to roads considered high risk. “Our approach this time is to listen and to understand the challenges road users are facing while at the same time impart the much needed road safety knowledge,” she pointed out.
Odhiambo explained that from the available statistics, a child life is prematurely lost on the roads every four minutes as a result of speeding vehicles within school zones, unsafe school transportation, unqualified drivers, low visibility due to their size and lack of supervision while crossing the roads.
According to NTSA, lack of child friendly road infrastructure within the school environment is another risky factor, contributing to loss of lives of school children through road accidents.
Part of the campaign target is to ensure that children aged between 5-19 years old get to and from schools safely.
“We call upon the County Government to support this campaign by providing the necessary road infrastructure such as speed bumps, rubble strips and stop signs around school zones,” she added.
According to NTSA, 3,564 people lost their lives through road accidents across the country in the latest statistics compiled on 31st, October 2021.
Out of the number, 1,241 were pedestrians and 984 motorcyclists. In Kakamega County, 117 people have so far lost their lives through road accidents this year, a slight increase from 112 who had lost their lives as at same month in the year 2020.
Kakamega County Commissioner, Pauline Dola, decried the increasing cases of road accidents and urged road users to be cautious.
She said bodaboda riders are the ones leading in road accident cases. “We have a special ward set aside for bodaboda riders who get involved in road accidents in Bungoma, Kakamega and Vihiga counties, that is how serious the situation is,” she pointed out.
By Moses Wekesa