NAIROBI, Kenya, August 18 – The National Road Safety Council has been re-launched in a bid to reduce road carnage in the country.
This comes after it emerged that 85 percent of road accidents are occasioned by human error on the part of motorists and pedestrians.
Transport Minister Chirau Ali Mwakwere said on Tuesday that the Council will ensure the number of road accidents in the country is reduced.
“60,000 vehicles are registered every year here in Kenya and 60 percent of them operate in the Capital City, Nairobi,” Mr Mwakwere said.
“Over 13,000 traffic accidents occur annually causing an average of 2,600 fatalities and over 11,000 injuries, and the figures are increasing!”
He further said that the re-launched council would spearhead the implementation of the National Road Safety Action plan, whose goal is to address the challenges encountered in the road transport sector.
“Over the years, Kenya has experienced an increase in the use of alternative motorised and non-motorised modes of transport, which compete to ferry passengers and goods in urban and rural areas,” he stated.
“These include tuk-tuks, motorcycles and boda bodas; and the influx has led to an increase in the rate of accidents.”
He said that there’s need to review and enforce road safety rules to ensure the well being of both motorists and pedestrians.
The Minister pointed out that a large proportion of accidents are caused by carelessness on the part of drivers or passers-by, and called on Kenyans to adhere to the laid down traffic laws so as to minimise accidents.
“Speed governors have been put in our vehicles so they go at 80km per hour up to the border and then 80km per hour again up to Dar es Salaam where vehicles travel at 100km per hour,” the Transport Minister declared.
“This causes them to lose passengers as a result of their slow pace. Let us put up laws that will be easy for motorists to follow,” Mr Mwakwere added.
“Before the end of the year, we are going to have the electronic licences which will ensure that we get you if you break the law,” he said.
“We will also be looking out for those people who get their licences illegally and will impose heavy fines on them, including imprisonment.”
Accidents on Kenyan roads cost the country more than Sh2 billion every year.
According to the Ministry of Roads, the money is lost through resources used in treating survivors, as well as road and vehicle repairs.
An estimated 200 people die on Kenyan roads every month, which translates to an average of seven people daily, while even more are injured. 30 percent of those who lose their lives are children.