, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 14 – The National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) is planning to roll out a new driving school curriculum among a set of other measures meant to curb road accidents.
The Authority’s Director General Francis Meja, who spoke when he released the 2015 road safety report on Thursday, said the curriculum to be launched in March will improve driving skills, attitudes, drivers training, testing and licensing system.
“Those who will be found flouting the law after the new curriculum, after an assessment on them and its concluded that they have deficiency on driving, they will be tested under the new curriculum,” he said.
Also to be launched include a transport integrated management systems, that will entail a universal policing unit, mobile policing gadget, a smart driver’s license and new generation number plates in a bid to enhance efficiency and increased reliability data.
Other than enhancing the public education and awareness on road safety, Meja says the authority will also implement instant fine framework.
On deaths caused as a result of road accidents, he said there were 3,057 road fatalities last year compared to 2,907 in 2014.
In both years, Meja said Saturday and Sunday have the highest fatalities at 38 percent while attributing this to high speed especially on highways, drink driving and motorists using unfamiliar roads.
“Weekends contribute the highest number of fatalities with a combined figure at average 38 percent in both 2014 and 2015,” he said.
The most affected age groups in terms of fatalities according to NTSA were between 20 and 44 years with the peak age being 30 and 34.
Nairobi County had the most fatal crashes in 2015 recording a total of 668 deaths majority being pedestrians at 497 deaths.
Though there have been gains in the efforts against road accidents, Meja pointed out behavioral aspects, insufficient funding for road safety, road engineering challenges, inadequate enforcement power and corruption as some of the challenges the authority is facing.
“With the increased lengths of the paved roads coupled with the increasing population and motorization, the exposure to crashes will increase as well,” he said.
“Thus the need to have commensurate increase in the levels of funding for sustainable road safety programmes. Road safety is an expensive venture which requires sufficient funding to undertake road safety programmes.”
Road engineering challenges include inadequate facilities for pedestrians, non-motorized and intermediate means of transport and “inadequate treatment of black spots.”
In the country, Meja said the economic cost of road crashes is 5.6 percent of the GDP, which amounts to Sh300 billion annually.
“It is important to note that in 2015, Public Service Vehicles (PSV) contributed 20 pc of total fatalities compared to 42pc in 2014,” he pointed out.