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Road accidents increase by 17.3 percent this year

The number of people killed and injured in road crashes in Kenya went up by 17.3 percent December this year compared to the same period last year.

According to statistics from the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) issued by Government Spokesman, Colonel (Retired) Cyrus Oguna, the total number of victims increased from 15,918 by December 16th, 2020, to the current 19,571.

 Speaking during a Road Safety Awareness drive at Mau Summit Trading Center, Oguna assured Kenyans that NTSA and the National Police Service will be vigilant on all roads, undertaking enforcement activities countywide, throughout the festive season.

He indicated that the data by the road safety authority revealed that motorcyclists accounted for the highest number of those killed, with 1634 deaths, followed by pedestrians at 1477 while passengers were third at 727, with drivers coming fourth at 426.

Increased road carnage, he said, has partly been caused by crossing of roads by pedestrians at undesignated places, overloading goods and excess passengers and failure to observe traffic rules.

Oguna also faulted boda boda riders for causing crashes by ignoring traffic rules, including failure to wear reflective jackets to boost visibility and speeding.

“Exceeding speed limits, late night travel, drunk driving, driving while fatigued, untrained and inexperienced motorbike riders and un-roadworthy vehicles are also factors that have contributed to a spike in road carnage,” the report read in part.

The number of road accidents fatalities across the country was 3,707 in 2020 compared to 4,347 by mid December 2021, the highest in five years, representing a 17.3 per cent increase.

The NTSA’s 16th, December 2021, road safety status report stated that, 4,347 people were seriously injured road up from 3,707 last year.

 Some 5,631 others have so far sustained slight injuries in road carnages this year as compared to 4,696 by December 16th, last year.

Top leading counties in number of accidents documented as at December 16th 2021 were Nairobi (495 cases), Kiambu (425), Nakuru (358), Machakos (205), Meru (158), Murang’a (150), Kilifi (141) and Kakamega that recorded 131 accidents.

Oguna noted other Counties that recorded increased road carnage were Nyeri (127), Kajiado (120), Uasin Gishu (110), Kirinyaga (110), Narok (101), Embu (89), Kisii (86), Homa Bay (85), Kericho (80) and Nyandarua (86).

At the same time, Oguna indicated that the National Government had expanded the country’s road network by 11,000 kilometers in the past 8 years bringing it to over 20,000 kilometers as a way of enhancing road safety.

The Government Spokesperson called on public service vehicle Saccos to ensure that their fleet was in good working condition during this festive season.

“All motorists and passengers are advised to plan their journeys to avoid inconveniences or speeding. Drivers are encouraged to take sufficient rest adhering to the maximum eight (8) hours of driving on long journeys,” he pointed out.

Oguna indicated that drivers, vehicle owners, Sacco/company officials were obligated to comply with the law, by avoiding contravening route and time and overloading.

He added; “Use of mobile phones while driving is highly discouraged as it is a distraction to driving. Drivers should not drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs, sleep inducing drugs/medicine, including prescription medication if they cause drowsiness.”

He assured Kenyans that NTSA and National Police Service will be vigilant on all roads, undertaking countrywide enforcement activities. Equally, he said the agencies will also intensify road safety education among roads users.

“The countrywide enforcement activities will focus verification of Road Service License (RSL), motor vehicle inspection, driving license and conductor badges and compliance with route allocation to ensure PSV’s ply routes they are licensed for.

He added that NTSA shall closely monitor fleet data of PSVs and a prohibition order will be issued against vehicles exceeding stipulated limit or those found to be tampering with the speed limiters.

“Random Checks for Drivers and Passengers along major highways shall be conducted day and night to check use of seatbelts, overloading and validity of driver documentation. Drivers and or PSV SACCOS/Companies found flouting the traffic regulations will be apprehended and risk their licenses being cancelled,” warned Oguna.

He urged members of the Public to report incidences on the road to the National Police Service hotline and through the free NTSA Mobile application.

By Jane Ngugi and Dennis Rasto

 

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