, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 20 – Kenyans have been urged to remain vigilant on the roads and hold Public Service Vehicles (PSV) drivers to account to prevent loss of lives in road accidents.
Speaking on Sunday during an event to mark the World Day of Remembrance for road accident victims, the Director General of National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) Francis Meja, said most accidents on Kenyan roads could be prevented if only drivers were responsible.
- He urged passengers to demand accountability from PSV drivers and desist from cheering them on whenever they contravene the law.
- "Speeding, drink-driving, lane discipline, careless overtaking are some of the things we can easily do without any cost," he said at the event held at Uhuru Park in Nairobi.
He urged passengers to demand accountability from PSV drivers and desist from cheering them on whenever they contravene the law.
“Speeding, drink-driving, lane discipline, careless overtaking are some of the things we can easily do without any cost,” he said at the event held at Uhuru Park in Nairobi.
“We want to appeal to all of us, let us be our brother’s keeper. If you’re on a vehicle and see a driver misbehaving or not following the traffic rules – you have duty and obligation to stop the driver and correct him – and by so doing, that simple act can actually save some lives.”
Meja, who cited the recent Lang’ata road accident which claimed four lives as one of the cases of pure negligence by PSV crews, said such unfortunate cases occur in the presence of informed passengers who are often aware that traffic rules are being flouted.
“If you can remember, the accident along Lang’ata Road – that was an accident that was clearly avoidable. If the driver had observed the speed limits along that section of the road, those passengers would still be alive today,” he said.
Speaking during the event, the authority’s board chairperson Retired Lieutenant General Jackson Waweru noted with concern the rising number of deaths associated with road carnages saying caution must be taken to stop the upsurge in the death toll.
“In Kenya, road crashes have claimed an average of 3,000 lives every year – a trend that must be reversed,” he said adding : ” As at 15th November,2016, 2,564 people had lost their lives while 9,117 were injured in road crashes.”
“While this is a slight improvement from last year, the numbers are still unacceptably high,” he observed saying the regulator will, “continue to engage strategic partners to ensure that our roads are safe.”
According to Meja, the authority has embarked on a process of procuring additional equipments including body cameras and night vision cameras to further enhance the capacity of its officers.
“The riskiest hours are at night and previously we have not had equipment that can detect speed under the cover of darkness,” Meja said.
“So we will procure night vision cameras to detect that and body cameras so that conversations between our officers and road users can be monitored so that our officers can be accountable.”
Meja distanced himself from claims that the NTSA had failed to crack the whip on PSV owners who violate vehicle body structure guidelines which put the lives of passengers at risk in the event of an accident.
“When these vehicles are presented for inspection, they are not in the state you see them. Immediately they leave the inspection centre is when they do the modifications,” he responded saying body construction for PSV’s in the country needs monitored to ensure it conforms with the new body standards.
The event was attended by victims of road accidents in the country who lit candles in honour of friends and family members whose lives had been cut short in road carnage.