, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 2 – Nearly 300 people were killed across the country in road accidents in the month of May alone, while 1,000 suffered serious injuries, according to statistics from Traffic Headquarters in Nairobi.
Police said the figures are the highest ever recorded in a single month, since the beginning of the year, raising fears of an increase in reckless driving and laxity in compliance with traffic regulations by motorists.
Eighty percent of road accidents in the country are as a result of dangerous driving and poor maintenance of vehicles, according to the police.
Between the months of January and April, the fatal cases involved were around 200 or even less, which means May, was the worst month in the country’s calendar.
“All Traffic Commandants in the eight provinces are under firm instructions to ensure they do not allow vehicles which have not complied with traffic regulations to operate on public roads,” Traffic Commandant Joseph Ole Tito said.
He added: “And it is not going to be just for a short period, the crackdown will be sustained,” he said.
The highest number of accidents occurred in Nairobi, Rift Valley, Coast and Central Provinces.
In Nairobi alone, statistics available indicate that at least five people are killed weekly, mainly on Uhuru Highway, Mombasa Road, Thika Road and Waiyaki Way.
“We are losing a lot people due to dangerous driving and speeding. These are some of the things that can be avoided if motorists complied with the traffic regulations,” Nairobi Deputy Traffic Commandant Leonard Katana said.
“Most of these accidents occur at night and during the weekends. This has to do with drunken driving. We are not going to tolerate this,” he added.
On Tuesday, police across the country were out carrying out major crackdowns which paralysed transport in most highways after more than 1,000 vehicles were impounded and their crew arrested.
The crackdown followed a directive issued by President Mwai Kibaki in his address at the Nyayo National stadium during celebrations to mark this year’s Madaraka Day.
The Head of State said he was increasingly concerned at the high number of fatal accidents on the roads and demanded tough action.