Stakeholders call for sanity to stop road carnages

Saturday, February 4th, 2023 19:46 | By
Stakeholders call for sanity to stop road carnages
A road accident. PHOTO/Courtesy

The alarming increase in road accidents in the country has been blamed on preventable and predictable factors with stakeholders now calling for sanity to stop road carnages.

Players in the transport industry have noted with concern that most accidents are caused by drivers’ behaviours such as recklessness, speeding, overloading and unjustified use of unroadworthy vehicles.

Just a month into 2023, over 20 road accident-related deaths have been reported across the country with the most recent incident seeing seven people die and eight others injured at Kikopey trading centre along the busy Nairobi-Nakuru Highway.

Transport stakeholders insist that Kenyans can avert accidents along the roads if everyone plays to the stipulated rules and guidelines.

According to Amos Muiruri Mbugua, a driving school manager, most Kenyan drivers are quacks who learnt the driving skill in the streets but have never bothered to go to school.

Muiruri regretted that most drivers are unlicensed and as such, many of them do not conform to the laid down road traffic rules to ensure their safety and that of others.

Speaking in Ruiru, Kiambu County, Muiruri urged drivers to exercise caution and attention while on the road to avoid causing deaths unjustifiably.

“We cannot continue watching our people die. We have a duty to ensure that we and those around us are safe. Let us all rise to the occasion and say not to recklessness, impunity on our roads,” Muiruri stated.

The transport stakeholder at the same time urged 2022 KCSE candidates to consider enrolling for driving and computer courses in the available institutions before they formally join higher learning institutions for specialized training.

His sentiments come as families whose loved ones have died as a result of accidents called on the government to enact punitive measures against careless drivers who cause death through reckless driving.

For Beth Wanjiru, a resident of Mwihoko, her husband, Samuel Munene was hit by a matatu at Kariokor in Nairobi as it tried to escape a police dragnet.

The driver, she said, hit her husband and ran, leaving him for dead.

Munene is reported to have died while receiving treatment at Kenyatta National Hospital while the vehicle and the driver who instigated his death continue to operate freely.

Wanjiru, who now struggles to bring up her children through menial jobs such as washing clothes, urged the government to introduce tougher measures geared towards the reduction of accidents which she regretted have continued to deny Kenya the much-needed workforce.

“I have been left to bear a very unbearable burden of bringing up my children which would be easy for me if my husband who was working as an artisan in the jua kali sector is still alive. The government should enact serious regulations that punish reckless drivers,” Wanjiru said.

As of November 2022, Kenya had experienced a 3% increase in road carnage with fatalities standing at 4,432 for the year as compared to 4,271 during the same period in the previous year.

The report by the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) indicated the analysis as the highest death toll registered since independence.

Meanwhile, youngsters across the country have been urged to embrace technical courses offered in local technical and vocational colleges to acquire skills required for employment in both the private and public sectors.

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