Carelessness to blame for Kenya road carnage

November 11, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 11- At least 85 percent of road accidents in Kenya can be attributed to human error, the Association for International Road Safety Travel (ASIRT) said on Wednesday.

The Association’s Director Bright Oywaya told Capital News that careful driving would drastically reduce the rate of road crashes.

“Majority of accidents on our roads are caused by human error, bad behaviour, indiscipline, this tells us that if we change behaviour, we get disciplined on our roads we could reduce 85 percent of road accidents,” she said.

Ms Oywaya said 3,000 Kenyans die every year in road accidents. 10,000 others are severely injured or disabled on Kenyan roads. Between January and June this year 1,950 deaths occurred within the same period that 12, 944 accidents were recorded.

Ms Oywaya said most of the accidents could have been avoided if drivers and road users observed simple traffic rules.

She said lack of concentration, drunkenness, use of mobile phones while driving and speeding were largely to blame for the accidents which have lately been on the increase.

Overlapping, emergency stops on highways and also failure to wear safety belts are other things that drivers could have observed to save themselves and their passengers.

Ensuring that vehicles are in good condition before driving was also another point she emphasised.

Ms Oywaya spoke ahead of the UN World Day of Remembrance for Road Crash Victims which is celebrated every third Sunday of November to call on all governments to action against road accidents.

She said it will also provide a forum for accident survivors to share their stories.

It also reminds governments, organisations and individuals of their responsibility to make roads safer, and draws the public’s attention to the epidemic of road injury, disability and death.

In Kenya the day to be marked at Uhuru Park will bring together those who have been injured, disabled and bereaved – bringing out the real family tragedy.

Ms Oywaya said : “The standing  together in painful awareness of this senseless loss of life, will  strengthen the resolve to work together to implement those reforms which will bring an end to death and destruction on the world’s roads. ”

Stakeholders such insurance companies are also reminded of their duty to sensitise the public on the importance of insurance covers and also their duty to compensate those who claim.

Ms Oywaya is an accident survivor who has been on wheelchair for the last 12 years.


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