It is high time to end carnage on the roads

Party on wheels bus

The wreckage of the 'Party on Wheels' bus at the Subuiga police station on November 20, 2022. As per the figures released by the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) in July 2022, the overall number of road accident casualties was 2,696, up from 2,490 during the same time in 2021.

Photo credit: Gitonga Marete I Nation Media Group

Every third Sunday in November is the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims, commemorating the millions of lives lost or wounded in traffic accidents. 

The day is also observed to honour emergency responders and medical workers. The varied personalities have to deal with the stress of road deaths and injuries.

According to Kenya’s National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA), a high number of Kenyans are killed in road crashes between Friday afternoon and Sunday evening.

That was revealed a few days before the anniversary. The authorities went on to say that these traffic accidents happen largely from 5-10 pm with the peak being around 8 pm.

In Kenya, road crashes injure or cripple up to 173 persons every day. Traffic incidents have also become the leading killer of young people aged 15-29.

Economic losses

Individuals, families and society suffer significant economic losses as a result of the injuries. The losses resulting from the expense of treatment as well as missed production for individuals killed or crippled by their injuries and for family members who must miss work or school to care for the injured.

Reduced enforcement at these times, large quantities of traffic and rush hours among pedestrians and motorists, as well as people crossing roads in non-designated or dangerous areas and being hit by speeding cars are the causes of these incidents.

Many of the above-mentioned traffic accidents are entirely avoidable. It is not difficult to reduce the number of traffic accidents. All it takes is for people to drive more responsibly and for the government to enforce traffic laws and punish those who attempt to breach them.

As per the figures released by the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) in July 2022, the overall number of road accident casualties was 2,696, up from 2,490 during the same time in 2021.

In 2022, 957 pedestrians, 741 motorcyclists, 471 passengers and 245 pillion passengers were killed. In the seven months from January to July 2022, some 247 drivers and 35 pedal bikers were also killed.

Life-saving equipment

It is critical for drivers and motorists to be adequately equipped with life-saving equipment to assist in lowering the number of fatalities in traffic accidents. Boda boda riders should be encouraged to join saccos and insure their lives and motorcycles.

Furthermore, the authorities and society as a whole should play a role in deterring minors from working as boda boda riders. They should also work together to deter vices like boda boda riders being exploited in unlawful activities, untrained riders, violation of traffic restrictions, drug and substance abuse and speeding.

As we approach the festive season, very many people will be travelling from the urban areas to at least spend time with their loved ones in the rural areas. All that is required of them is to drive responsibly and always follow the traffic rules.

Mr Sylvan (@Ian Okoth ) and Mr Oluoch ( [email protected] ) are freelance journalists.

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