Over 1,070 péople were killed in road accidents between January, March – NTSA report

Monday, April 3rd, 2023 18:59 | By
Over 1,070 people were killed in road accidents between January, March - NTSA report
Accident sign. PHOTO/Courtesy

At least 1,072 lives were lost to road accidents between January and March, Roads and Transport Cabinet Secretary Kipchumba Murkomen has said.

Although the number is lower compared to last year’s 1,159 deaths within the same period, Murkomen said the numbers paint a bleak picture of the state of road safety in the country, which has degenerated into a catastrophe.

“According to the latest report, of the 1,072 people killed on our roads, 362 are pedestrians, 302 are motorcyclists, 184 are passengers, 101 are pillion passengers, 104 are drivers while 19 are pedal cyclists,” the CS said when he inaugurated the new National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) board on Monday.

“The number of passenger deaths is attributed to speeding vehicles, crossing at undesignated places, distracted driving or walking and drunk driving,” he added.

Murkomen has since announced stringent measures that the ministry is undertaking, through NTSA, to not only reduce road accidents but also address the rampant cases.

The CS instructed NTSA to implement immediate measures that will deal with reckless driving and road crashes, especially, during the Easter period when many Kenyans are travelling to different parts of the country.

Among the measures to be undertaken include heightened surveillance to crack down on unroadworthy vehicles, in close collaboration with the Interior Ministry to arrest reckless drivers.

“Drivers should avoid using their phones while driving, speeding, driving under the influence of alcohol/drugs, and driving without, or carrying passengers who are not, wearing safety belts. Besides this, I urge passengers to observe traffic rules by stopping at green lights and avoid crossing the road in non-designated and unsafe areas,” the CS stated.

The NTSA report also indicates that Machakos had the highest number of driver fatalities with many of the accidents occurring along the Nairobi-Mombasa Highway.

Nakuru and Meru had the highest number of motorcyclist and pillion passenger fatalities, at 33 and 30 deaths respectively while Nairobi and Kiambu had the highest number of pedestrian fatalities at 56 and 45 deaths respectively, during the same period.

Overall, Nairobi recorded the highest fatality at 101 deaths most of which occurred along the Eastern bypass and Outering road. Nakuru was second with 93 deaths within the same period.

The report also says that motorcycles and private vehicles contributed the highest number of fatalities between January and March at 284 and 272 deaths respectively.

The weekend, Sunday and Saturday, toped in the number of road accident deaths at 192 and 184 respectively, with a combination of Friday, Saturday and Sunday accounting for 48.4 per cent of fatal accidents, with most of the accidents occurring between 1700 and 2300 hours and the peak being 2000 hours.

This was attributed to the high travel numbers, speeding especially along major highways, and reduced enforcement.

By gender, the majority of those who died from road accidents were men at 83 per cent, a situation which was attributed to risky behaviour on the roads, and distracted driving or walking or riding.

Murkomen also noted that the Ministry was in the final stages of developing a Driving School Management and Licensing Module that would ensure only competent and qualified drivers are allowed on the roads.

“The module is meant to eliminate cases of irregular acquisition of driving licenses that have seen self-trained drivers acquire driving licenses without going through the requisite training and tests,” he said.

This is in addition to ongoing plans by the Ministry to deploy an Integrated Traffic Management System (ITMS) that will see the installation of CCTV cameras in 81 junctions in Nairobi, installation of traffic and speed cameras along the highways, especially black spots, and operationalization of a transport data centre and road transport dashboard.

This, he said, will assist in curbing reckless driving by introducing instant fines and a demerit point system for ‘ill-behaved’ motorists.

“To expand the inspection of vehicles, the Government is working on a module that would bring on board the private sector to reduce delays at existing inspection centres,” the CS said.

Transport Principal Secretary Mohamed Daghar said the ministry will conduct registration, training and capacity enhancement for boda boda operators to enhance safety awareness and observance of traffic rules.

"The ministry will rollout smart driving licenses in collaboration with the private sector to fast-track the process and make it as seamless as possible,” the PS remarked.

Plans are also underway to develop an accident reporting platform for citizens to notify the relevant agencies in cases of accidents and work with medical practitioners and the Insurance Regulatory Authority (IRA), to ensure accident victims get professional care.

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