NEWS Road accidents kill more than Covid combined – Nairobi News

Road accidents kill more than Covid combined - Nairobi News

Transport and Roads Cabinet Secretary Kipchumba Murkomen has revealed that more people have died from road accidents in Kenya this year than from Covid-19 in almost three years.

According to Murkomen, 4,449 people lost their lives last year, a 3% increase from the 4,271 killed in 2021.

“It’s really painful to read that we’re losing people; in one year we’ve lost more people to accidents than we’ve lost in the entirety of Covid-19,” Murkomen said.

Speaking at the launch of the December 2022 Festival Enforcement Initiative at Harambee House, CS spoke about the rise in deaths, which he blamed on the negligence of other road users.

He said a significant number of road accidents were caused by avoidable human factors, including drink driving, speeding, dangerous overtaking, fatigue and disregard for traffic lights and signs.

“Based on an analysis of past reports, a significant number of road crashes are caused by avoidable human factors, including drunk driving, speeding, dangerous overtaking, fatigue and disregard for traffic lights and signs,” Murkomen said.

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A total of 403 drivers were killed, 1,190 motorcyclists were killed, 1,595 pedestrians were also killed on the road, and 1,204 passengers were killed.

Murkomen said the government had launched the December 2022 festival enforcement plan and recognized that there would be a high number of road accidents at night due to poor visibility.

He urged motorists, especially those driving heavy commercial vehicles and public service vehicles traveling at night, to take steps to improve visibility. This includes properly positioning signs such as triangles, chevrons and reflective signs.

He added that motor vehicle owners must move quickly within an hour of an accident to remove stalled vehicles and ensure appropriate signs are placed at a safe distance from the road to warn approaching motorists.

He directed road and safety agencies to implement road safety measures such as erecting appropriate signage, surveillance and conducting awareness campaigns to promote behavioral change among road users.

“I have directed the Kenya National Highways Authority (Kenha), the Kenya Urban Roads Authority (Kura) and the Kenya Rural Roads Authority (Kerra) to increase surveillance of our roads and ensure that all broken down vehicles are towed within one hour, to keep traffic flowing,” Murkman said.

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“I have also directed NTSA to step up the Usalama Barabarani program and awareness campaign to affect positive behavior change among road users. The Authority has engaged PSV Saccos to focus on the wellbeing of drivers and ensure they are aware of their role in preventing road carnage,” CS said.

CS also urged the public to be vigilant when reporting reckless drivers, and urged motorists to take personal responsibility by obeying the law and following road safety precautions.

“Owners of private motor vehicles, heavy commercial vehicles and PSV Saccos should ensure drivers are well rested and their vehicles are well maintained before hitting the road,” he said.

Meanwhile, Cabinet Secretary Professor Kithure Kindiki said the high rate of road accidents also suggested that human error, carnival and other indulgences typical of festivals were largely responsible for the remarkable spike.

He directed the police to crack down on traffic offenders without exception.

“We expect 100 per cent compliance from motorists and other road users. The rules must be fully complied with by all,” Professor Kim Dickie said.

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