NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 14 – Transport Cabinet Secretary Michael Kamau on Monday announced that road fatalities and casualties had decreased by 22 percent in the first quarter of 2014 as compared to the same period last year.
He said Kenya had lost 200 fewer people from road accidents between January and March this year as compared to 2013 while 400 less had suffered from injuries incurred in road accidents.
“During the first quarter of 2014, a total of 679 lives had been lost through road traffic crashes as compared to 880 lives lost during the same period in the year 2013. During the same period in 2013, the number of serious injuries was 1,597 compared to 1,238 in 2014,” he said.
Kamau attributed the decline to the introduction of breathalysers on Kenyan roads by his Ministry in December last year.
“We are happy that the levels of awareness have significantly been enhanced. NTSA (National Transport and Safety Authority) will be rolling out these campaigns to all other major towns and will become a permanent feature in enforcement,” he said.
In the last three months since the introduction of the breathalyser, Kamau says they have arrested 1,024 drivers and collected Sh14,220,000 in fines.
He however raised the alarm over ‘drink-walking’ which he said was when pedestrians got knocked dead in road accidents because they were inebriated.
“We have an increase in the number of fatalities on pedestrians particularly on Sundays. This past Sunday eight of the 11 road accident fatalities were pedestrians,” he revealed.
And following the Masii road accident in which 13 members of the same family were killed in an overloaded PSV, he cautioned the public against flouting traffic regulations on the premise that they had privately hired the vehicle they were traveling in.
As regards the compliance with the new traffic regulations contained in Legal Notice Number 23 of March 11, 2014 for Public Service Vehicles (PSVs), the Chairman of the NTSA, Lee Kinyanjui, said they were at 50 percent compliance.
And Kamau said they were employing 17 speed guns to ensure all PSVs on the road stayed under the 80KPH speed limit and any PSV found to be going over the limit would be subjected to a full inspection.
He also said his Ministry was working on specification for PSV bodies to ensure the number of deaths caused annually by road accidents is reduced from 3,000 to 2,000 to begin with.