, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 3 – More than 10 people died on Friday in separate accidents that occurred in Chogoria and Bomet.
Eight of them died when the 14-seater Nissan matatu they were travelling in got a puncture before rolling several times on the Chogoria-Chuka Highway.
According to Traffic Police Commandant Samuel Kimaru, six of them died on the spot while two others who were among nine seriously injured succumbed while being treated at the Chogoria District Hospital.
“The 14 seater matatu got a tyre burst before rolling and killing four adults and two children on the spot. Nine other passengers were rushed to the Chogoria district hospital where two of them succumbed,” he stated.
The traffic boss expressed concern at the higher number of accidents during the holiday season and called on every Kenyan to be careful on the roads.
“It is very worrying that now that accidents are still occurring now that we have banned night travelling. There is need for us to address all the areas which may cause accidents to occur,” he indicated.
He further singled out the need for drivers to always check on the road worthiness of their vehicles and ensure that they are in good shape.
He especially urged motorists to check on their tyres as it was the cause of the accident on the Chogoria-Chuka highway.
“It is always advisable for motorists who are travelling long distances to always check that their wheels are in good condition. They should invest more in tubeless tyres as this may drastically reduce rolling especially should a puncture occur,” he said.
The Kenya Red Cross Society also launched an urgent blood appeal for survivors of the accident.
In the meantime, at Chepole along the Bomet-Kaplong highway, three women died on the spot when the matatu they were travelling in collided head-on with a trailer. Another victim died in hospital.
The matatu was heading to Kisii when it collided with a trailer.
Following the high rate of road accidents, the government banned night travel between 6pm and 6am without a night travel license from the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA).
According to the newly gazetted regulations, the operator must also ensure that a driver does not travel for more than eight hours and must take a break of eight hours before the next shift.
The rules also require that all the journeys are planned in a manner that allows a 30-minute refreshment break for both the driver and the passengers at an appropriate location after every three to four hours in the course of the journey.