The return of road carnage

September 24, 2008 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, September 24 – Statistics from the Traffic Police headquarters indicate that at least 40 people are killed and more than 200 people injured every week in road accidents countrywide.

This trend, despite heightened police crackdowns shows that Kenyan roads are increasingly becoming death traps for both pedestrians and motorists.

Last week, for instance, 42 people died, while 172 were injured in accidents.

Statistics sourced from the Traffic Police headquarters show that Central province reports the highest number of accidents followed by Eastern, Nairobi and Rift Valley Provinces with up to six accidents per week.

Many of the accidents reported in Central Province occur at black spots on the Thika-Nyeri highway while those reported in Eastern Province occur between the Machakos junction and Emali on the Mombasa highway.

In Rift Valley, the Naivasha stretch is singled out as the most dangerous spot.

Police puzzled
Traffic Commandant Aggrey Adoli admitted to Capital News that police were baffled by the increased road carnage.

“We are noting with a lot of concern this high rate of road accidents. We are losing a lot of people as a result of carelessness and drunken-driving, particularly at night,” he said.

Adoli said matatu drivers are to blame in more than 80 percent of road accidents investigated by the police. In every 10 road accidents reported, he said, eight of them involve a public service vehicle and its driver is usually to blame.

“In terms of enforcement, private vehicle drivers are not as notorious as matatu drivers. They have refused to change even when they witness accidents where drivers of such matatus perish,” he said.

Passengers are also to blame, says Adoli, for failure to observe safety standards, like the use of safety belts.

“There are also those who attempt to jump out of vehicles during collision. The result of this is usually fatal because it is hard to tell where the vehicle will land when it starts rolling,” he said.


In the week ending September 6, forty pedestrians died in various parts of the country while 48 others sustained serious injuries.

12 motor cyclists were killed during that week, with 18 others sustaining serious injuries.

According to police, many of the pedestrians were using non-designated crossing points.

“This is becoming increasingly high, a lot of people are being killed because they have deliberately failed to adhere to very basic rules. They ignore Zebra crossing points,” deputy traffic commandant in Nairobi Leonard Katana said.


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