NAIROBI, Kenya Oct 9 – On the first weekend of bar operations since COVID-19 pandemic, 60 people were killed in road accidents, the highest number of fatalities in recent months.
Police are now attributing the accidents to drink-driving and have resorted to re-introduce alcoblow tests on drivers.
“We will have random drink-driving alcoblow tests on major towns and highways from today,” said Police Spokesman Charles Owino, who issued a statement on Friday morning, detailing the deaths that occured last weekend.
Statistics documented by the National Police Service and the National Transport and Safety Authority indicates that 60 people were killed between October 2 to 4 in road accidents attributed to speeding and drink-driving.
“Analysing the trend points to the need to focus more efforts towards road safety in order to prevent the unnecessary loss of lives,” the joint statement stated.
Kenya opened bars last week after a decline in COVID-19 cases which had surged since March, forcing President Uhuru Kenyatta to declare a partial lockdown that included a night curfew.
The curfew was extended from 9pm to start from 11pm to 4am, with bars now allowed to operate up to 10pm.
Kenya had been implementing the use of Alcoblow tests until last year when it was withdrawn due to misuse by police officers who set up unnecessary roadblocks in various parts of the country, mainly highways and major towns.
Police were accused of using the alcoblows to harrass and extort motorists, prompting the Inspector General of Police Hillary Mutyambai to suspend it.