Let all roads have clear, bold signage

Wednesday, March 16th, 2022 00:00 | By
Residents of Ojola in Kisumu West sub-county mill around the trailer that got involved in a grisly accident after the driver lost control and rolled severally before ramming into two residential houses leaving scores injured and causing mass destruction of property worth Sh400,000. Photo/PD/VIOLA KOSOME

Some Kenyans love short cuts. For them, the end always justifies the means. 

They build houses without permits; they encroach on other peoples’ plots or riparian lands and hope to get orders to stay.

They overlap on the roads and hope the traffic officer is looking the other way. These are just three of the most prevalent undertakings common in the Kenyan society. In many instances, those involved get away with it. 

Sometimes they don’t. And the cost is normally steep. Lives have been lost as a result; life savings have gone down the drain; the courts have been inundated with squabbles that if only the right thing was done at the right time and in the right manner all the negative effects would have been avoided. 

The latest such indictment is coming from the Auditor General. In her assessment, many road accidents are avoidable only if the authorities involved could do the right thing. 

Credit to government, many roads have been built or refurbished but instead of improving transportation, they have become blackspots where many lives have been lost. 

In her latest report, the auditor observes that lack of adequate and clear road signs is a major cause of accidents on rural and urban roads as well major highways. 

It’s a no-brainer that road signage is an essential component of safety of motorists and pedestrians and also aids in control of traffic as it provides all road users with the necessary warnings, rules, distance, and directional information. 

It’s sad that many of our roads do not have these critical signs. They were either placed and vandalised or not placed at all. 

The roads are not marked. Even for a regular user of such roads it is difficult navigating especially when visibility is compromised. Some have argued it is better to do a shorter but well signed road than to do a longer one with no markings or signs. 

Lives have been lost on these roads. The accidents could have been avoided but someone thought using shortcuts will get them the results they envisaged. We call out the roads agencies. 

It is unfathomable that billions of shillings are spent building good roads but no money is left to mark them. 

If a life can be saved by putting up signage then do it. Spare Kenyans the agony of losing loved ones because of negligence. Do not spend billions sending Kenyans to early graves. 

More on Opinion