Road accidents have been termed among the major causes of deaths in Kenya.
Speaking at Kinoru stadium Thursday during a training of bodaboda riders on road safety, Kenya Roads Board (KRB) Director of policy and planning Engineer Tom Omae said the number of deaths from the accidents was alarming and can only be compared to those caused by cancer.
He said data received from National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) indicate that from January to December last year, 4,690 Kenyans lost their lives as a result of road accidents.
Out of these deaths, he added, 442 were passengers on bodabodas.
He added that the trend might be the same this year considering that in January alone, 373 Kenyans died out of road accidents.
From reliable statistics, he added, human behaviour is what accounts for 80 percent of these accidents which include over speeding, driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, reckless driving, and disruption from the phone which has also become very common.
“KRB understands that bodabodas play a key role in providing efficient and affordable transportation of cargo and human beings and this is the reason we have decided to conduct this training with an aim of reducing the accidents and injuries by 50 percent by the year 2030,” said Engineer Omae.
He added: “We will all eventually die but we can do something to curb death from accidents and that is the reason we are here today,” he added.
He said the training is one of the many road initiatives that they have conducted in 15 counties so far where more than 5000 riders have been trained and 3000 helmets provided besides10,000 reflector jackets, and first aid kits among others.
“The training will equip you with safe riding skills, use of personal protective equipment, first aid evacuation from accident scenes, and understanding of traffic law enforcement. This will not only benefit riders but also contribute to general safety on our roads,” said Omae.
Meru County Commissioner Fredrick Ndunga called on the riders to be keen on roads, especially when overtaking in order to avoid accidents.
He also urged them to help security personnel in reporting rogue bodaboda riders who were out to commit crimes.
By Dickson Mwiti