, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 8 – Traffic Commandant Charlton Mureithi has warned that pedestrians crossing roads at non-designated areas will be charged with an offence of attempted suicide.
He says it will be interpreted that one wanted to take his or her life since other than footbridges there are marked areas meant for road crossing.
“We have said it is almost attempted suicide because when you have a designated crossing point and you don’t want to use the crossing point, you choose to cross elsewhere, you are hit by a vehicle… luckily if you survive we should charge you with attempted suicide,” he warned.
“We should not lose even one person.”
Previously, people were being charged with an offence of obstructing motorists.
He said for a long time, police statistics have indicated that pedestrians knocked by vehicles were in most cases using undesignated areas.
According to National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) Director General Francis Meja, “statistics of the people killed in road crashes indicate that 46 percent of victims are pedestrians. In Nairobi alone, 479 pedestrians have been killed in the six months of this year.”
Seven hundred and sixty three pedestrians have been killed this year alone though a reduction from 855 last year over the same period.
Three hundred and thirty three passengers have died as a result of road accidents, a drop from 468 last year.
Mureithi said the condition of footbridges was being improved saying there were even plans to man them on a 24-hour basis.
While noting that the rate of road accidents had decreased, he said police will not relent in their efforts to maintain sanity on the roads.
The Traffic Commandant was speaking on Thursday after a meeting with regional traffic enforcement officers and base commanders in the country.
Mureithi also asked members of the public to desist from giving bribes to traffic police officers.
He said as much as police officers are not supposed to take bribes, it was equally wrong for a person to bribe his way out when caught with a traffic offence.
He has however directed all the regional traffic enforcement officers to ensure police in their respective areas don’t engage in corruption related activities.
“I have put officers on notice, and I am appealing to the public that should you catch any of my officers doing corrupt practices do not hesitate to report them,” he affirmed.
“I can take care of my officers and we even do it without being prompted all the time but also if you notice a citizen trying to bribe their way out having committed a traffic offence please report them.”
He noted corruption was still a major issue in the sector which can only be eliminated if citizens follow the law and, “also stop bribing police officers.”
Mureithi said they will go for both the giver and the one receiving the bribe.
His directive comes a few days after Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission officers arrested four officers at Mariakani and Mlolongo weighbridges for taking bribes.
The officers were picked up from the two weighbridges following weeks of investigations on their activities.
At Mlolongo weighbridge, 15 suspects were arrested and Sh86,000 recovered.
EACC Chairman Mumo Matemu has since said that they have enhanced investigations in the sector to ensure Kenyans are not fleeced of their money through corrupt means.
He says investigations have shown that corruption at weighbridges is well organised by police and officers from other government agencies who collude with road users to allow overweight trucks to pass.
“The undercover investigations, established existence of deeply entrenched corruption cartels involving weighbridge officers, transport agents and police officers deployed to man them,” he said.
“Each truck pays a bribe of between Sh1,000 and Sh3,000 to pass through the weighbridge without being weighed which they share.”