NAIROBI, Kenya, November 15 – The Ministry of Roads is set to expand three major roads in the city at a cost of Sh17 billion in a move aimed at reducing both traffic congestion and road accidents.
Roads Minister Franklin Bett said on Monday that Outering Road from Thika Road up to the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) would be upgraded to become a dual carriageway.
He pointed out that Ngong Road will also be a dual carriageway from the Uhuru Highway round about through the City Mortuary to Ngong town.
He said the expansion would also been done on Langata Road to ensure smooth flow of traffic.
“We are discussing with development partners and planning so that by next year we may start work on those roads. “We are expanding to reduce on the five percent contribution by roads to road accidents,” Mr Bett said.
The Roads Minister was speaking during the launch of the National Road Safety Awareness and Education Week where he pointed out the heavy toll on life as a result of road accidents.
“As you are aware, there so many accidents on our roads. The world over, we experience losses of 1.3 million people. Here at home, we have got fatalities of an average of 3,000 and to bring it closer home, we are losing 10 people daily on our roads,” he said.
The Minister revealed that 85 percent of accidents on Kenyan roads are as a result of human error.
He said many drivers do not observe traffic regulations and this leads to loss of life.
While pointing out that the prevalence of road accidents in the country have reduced, the Roads Minister stressed the need to further minimise the loss of life through careful driving.
“There is really a reduction but that is not adequate enough. We want to terminate on zero losses on our roads but you find 85 percent is due to human error. Be it human error on a motorcycle, vehicle or a bicycle,” he said.
He further urged motorists to ensure their vehicles are road worthy.
“The other one is of course mechanical condition of the vehicle whereby you find someone running a flat tyre or a worn out tyre causing accidents and also drunkenness, lack of vigilance and poor eyesight,” he said.
He called on those wishing to do Boda Boda business to ensure that the riders are experienced.
Mr Bett said serious accidents occur when riders do not follow laid down traffic regulations.
“Do not buy a motorcycle today and you have never been on any motor cycle before. Buy when you already have experience to ride. Most people who are riding the bikes today are people who may not have driven any vehicle in their lives,” he said.
“I understand they are looking for a livelihood, but looking for livelihood in a dangerous manner is not right.”
He explained the National Road Safety Awareness and Education Week will include road shows targeted towards educating Kenyans on the need for road safety.
“There are so many activities which are planned which include processions on our roads, one major one from Mombasa along the Mombasa-Nairobi highway which is the northern corridor,” he said.
“There will also be stops in the various towns for the group to give public education and awareness. The apex of the whole exercise will be at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre,” he added.