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Road users sensitized on safety

In a move aimed at reducing road accidents on the Kenyan roads, the Northern Corridor in together with the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) and the Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) have been running a road safety awareness campaign since April 3.

The campaign kicked off in Mombasa and ended at the Malaba border post in Busia County on April 12.

Speaking during the culmination of the campaign at Malaba, the director for Infrastructure Development and Management at the Northern Corridor Transit and Transport Coordination Authority (NCTTCA), Prof. Lievin Chirhalwirwa called upon road users and truck drivers at large to ensure safety, while on the roads.

“Fatalities and crashes experienced along the corridor can be reduced and even halted if we share the responsibility of maintaining road safety,” he said.

The Northern Corridor is a transport link from the port of Mombasa to Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, DRC and South Sudan. Its services also extend to the Northern part of Tanzania and Ethiopia.

Leading a team of 29 people, Prof. Chirhalwirwa noted that the campaign was a phase one of their planned activities among its member states as policy organs requested.

He added that they are also conducting medical screening for the drivers as poor health conditions lead to road carnages.

“We are doing eye screening and a blood pressure test on our drivers as their health is also paramount in this exercise. More than 500 drivers have been tested so far in our medical camp aided by the Light House for Christ,” he said.

According to a report from the Kenya Transporters Authority (KTA) on medical tests, one out of 10 drivers have poor eyesight while 50% of drivers are diabetic. The report also cited attitude and discipline among drivers as a cause of 90% of recorded accidents

His sentiments were echoed by Eng. Peter Wanyoike from KeNHA, who urged road users to be careful and responsible and observe rule and signs on the road to minimize accidents.

“We have to be vigilant when it comes to matters road safety. Our drivers should ensure they follow traffic rules which include driving within speed limits and being cautious while overtaking,” stated Wanyoike.

Citing frequent accident incidents at Salgaa area of Nakuru County, Wanyoike stated that they have extended the highway to accommodate every road user.

He also mentioned that they have repaired Gitaru road and are looking forward to curbing the challenges that comes with transport on salty waters.

The NTSA Regional Manager in the Coast region Eva Nyawira called upon long distance drivers to be on the lookout as accidents are costly.

She also noted that there was significant reduction in accident cases compared to last year.

“We have lost 1055 lives from January to March compared to last year’s 1128 cases. That is approximately a 6.5% reduction,” stated Nyawira.

She also mentioned fatigue as a neglected cause for accidents and called upon agencies to employ turn boys and provide resting places for the long-distance drivers.

“There is a law stating that a driver shouldn’t drive for more than 8 hours, be it motorists, truck drivers or riders,” she added.

By Absalom Namwalo

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