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NTSA to train Boda Boda operators

Boda Boda riders across the country are set to undergo refresher courses in a bid to reduce road carnage involving the operators and their passengers.

National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) Director Mr. Charles Okeno said the training was in line with a revised curriculum which mandates the authority to re-evaluate competence of riders and motorists on Kenyan roads.

Speaking at St Peter’s Primary School in Lanet during the launch of NTSA Road Safety Curriculum in Schools, Okeno said the training will also involve motorists undergoing rigorous assessment to certify their competence.

Besides training Boda Boda operators on road safety, which is the core mandate of NTSA, the riders will also be equipped with skills in first aid and public relations so as to be able to handle their customers in a professional manner.

“The training does not mean that targeted motorcyclists or motorists do not know how to ride or drive their respective modes of transport. Most accidents occur as a result of how drivers or riders conduct themselves on the road. It has nothing to do with the vehicle or condition of the road,” said Okeno.

He indicated that the training had been designed to ensure that drivers and riders observe road safety rules as a way of bringing down fatalities and injuries witnessed on Kenyan roads.

Speaking during the same occasion, NTSA Board Member Ms Catherine Njeri observed that owing to an expanded road network and increased importation of vehicles in the country, road safety campaigns were a priority to reduce loss of lives and injuries on roads.

Njeri put on notice long distance truck owners who were flouting rules put in place aimed at reducing accidents involving transit good trailers along major highways.

“It is still a requirement by NTSA that long distance vehicles be manned by at least two drivers to avoid accidents caused by fatigue. We will soon start an all-out crackdown against those flouting this rule,” warned the Board Member.

She said statistics show that 67 per cent of accidents happened at night, between 6pm and 7am.

Deputy Governor Dr. Eric Korir expressed concern that the number of persons who had lost their lives in road accidents within Nakuru County by October 31 this year stood at 295 compared to 235 over the same period last year.

While noting that over 3,500 Kenyans had been killed in road carnage, Korir said the most affected were pedestrians and motorists.

“We can reverse the trend if pedestrians, motorists and riders observe road safety rules and when various state agencies tasked with regulating the transport sector enforce the law to the letter without succumbing to the temptation of corruption and bribery,” the Deputy Governor pointed out.

Regional Traffic Police Commander Mr. Simon Birir indicated that bringing down fatalities on Kenya’s roads called for a multi-agency rather than a single agency approach.

He stated that 771 cases of road accidents had been reported in the region, 90 per cent of which had been preceded by traffic violations including speeding, reckless driving, lack of concentration, and drunkenness among others.

By Jane Ngugi and Dennis Rasto

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