, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 4- President Uhuru Kenyatta has decried the high number of deaths resulting from road accidents, a majority of which he says can be prevented.
The President has asked traffic police to ensure full and impartial enforcement of traffic rules and regulations, to avoid unnecessary loss of life as a result of road carnage.
“In the recent past, we have lost far too many lives on our roads. We need to be perfectly clear here, these deaths are avoidable,” the President said.
“The Kenyans who have left us, fathers and mothers, son and daughters, did not have to die.”
Last year alone and more so the month of December, more than 3,000 people lost their lives on the road according to National Transport and Safety Authority.
As a result, the President directed the police officers to take charge of traffic regulation and law enforcement on roads but corruption remains their major undoing.
Kenya is ranked among countries with the worst road safety records globally based on a 2015 World Health Organisation (WHO) report titled the Global Status on Road Safety.
The report shows that Kenya, Tanzania and Rwanda with respectively 29.1, 32.9 and 32.1 deaths per 100,000 people, are amongst the worst 10 performers on road fatalities in the continent. It is among the worst 20 in the world, with Uganda placed better 27.4.
While available statistics show that up to 3,000 people die annually from road accidents in Kenya, this year’s toll is likely to be even higher due to the increased number of accidents recorded since June.
WHO differs with the country’s official statistics and instead places the annual death toll at an average of 12,000, with many accidents blamed on faulty vehicles and minimal or total lack of enforcement by authorities coupled with bribery.
The report shows that no African country except South Africa meets any of the UN’s seven main vehicle safety standards.