How to end road carnage

Road crash

A man walks past the wreckage of the 14-seater matatu that was involved in a road crash accident at Eveready roundabout in Nakuru City on December 31, 2023. Seven people died in the accident.

Photo credit: Boniface Mwangi | Nation Media Group

The rate of road crashes in Kenya continue to escalate, leaving many people nursing serious injuries and others losing their loved ones. The causes of the incidents include lack of self-responsibility and poor law enforcement.

The latest National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) statistics show 3,090 Kenyans either died or sustained injuries in road crashes between January 1 and February 11 this year. The report also shows that 563 of the victims succumbed to their injuries with 1,403 maimed and 1,124 slightly injured.

The World Health Organization says every year road crashes kill 1.3 million people, or more than two every minute, over nine in 10 of them in low- and middle-income countries such as Kenya.

Not enforcing traffic laws on drink-driving, wearing of seatbelts and helmets and speed limits hampers efforts to reduce road traffic fatalities and injuries related to specific behaviours. Let everyone prioritise self-responsibility to prevent speeding, overloading and corruption in the transport sector.

Secondly, the Transport ministry should involve sectors such as the police, health and education, the private sector and civil society in the quest for road safety. Thirdly, the Transport CS should ensure rogue drivers and corrupt traffic police officers are punished as per the law. Also Kenya National Highway Authority (KeNHA) should ensure all roads have speed bumps and road signs and markings.

Lastly, effect interventions such as public awareness of the importance of ensuring road safety; incorporating road safety features in land-use and transport planning; and designing safer infrastructure and improving the safety features of vehicles.

- Mr Sifuna is a journalism and communication student at Rongo University. [email protected].