(LAURA WALUBENGO) Whoever you want to thank for the smooth roads in the country, go ahead. They are well marked, beautiful and carry any well maintained car effortlessly.
But a number of them have now developed a ghastly sight on them: skid marks. A recent trip I took to western Kenya revealed several such marks on road curves and declines as well.
While pondering the marks I saw several matatus, going at about 80kph screeching and jutting in in-front of me to avoid oncoming traffic and that was my Eureka moment.
Do the numerous accidents on the highways have less to do with speed as the police often report, and have more to do with drivers not obeying simple overtaking rules?
If you think about it, you will rarely go a on a road trip without even once seeing a ‘near accident’ occasioned by careless overtaking.
Speeds above 30kph are sufficient for a tragic collision during overtaking. So how can this be flagged?
Because overtaking occurs virtually anywhere, the onus only rests on the individual drivers to do the right thing.
An old song that always plays in my head when I am trying to overtake usually gives me the patience to follow that trailer at 15kph, until I can see a clear stretch to overtake on.
“Dereva, dereva, chunga maisha…” is a perfect mental mantra. In the song, the singer tells drivers not to overtake on corners and uphill/downhill stretches.
“Weh! Hiyo ni corner, hapana overtake kwa corner, chunga maisha,” it says.
How do you make sure that you overtake safely?