Road deaths: The buck stops with Murkomen


The accident scene at Patkawanin, along the Kabarnet- Marigat road where learners of Kapsabet Boys High School were involved in a road accident.

Photo credit: Florah Koech| Nation Media Group

In recent weeks, our country has been engulfed by a dark cloud of sorrow caused by an upsurge in road carnages that must get us all worried.

This year alone, the grim statistics on the number of fatalities, major and minor injuries that have caused a blot on many families are mind-blowing.

Motorcyclists, pedestrians, passengers, drivers and pedal cyclists have all been affected. It is always painfully regretful to see the sight of a person writhing in excruciating pain due to a disaster that was otherwise avoidable.

This week, a student and a teacher lost their precious lives hours after occupants of another school bus cheated death at the notorious Nithi bridge thanks to their driver’s quick thinking.

The buck stops with the Ministry of Transport, headed by Cabinet Secretary Kipchumba Murkomen, and its agency, the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA). They must stop at nothing than taming the accident and assuring Kenyans of their safety on the roads because many accidents are, more often than not, as a result of human error.

First, they must rid our roads of unroadworthy vehicles. All vehicles must be fitted with safety belts, speed governors and occasionally serviced.

Secondly, drivers, especially those of school buses must be licensed and experienced. Drink-driving, speeding, dangerous overtaking, driving while using mobile gadgets, among other misbehaviour, must be frowned upon, violators of all traffic rules must be made to face the full force of the law expeditiously. Thirdly, the authority must also ensure roads are well maintained and labeled appropriately to guide motorists.

We must do everything possible to keep our roads safe to alleviate further suffering.

On Monday, 11 students perished following an accident in Maungu, Taita Taveta County, involving a Kenyatta University that was taking them to an academic trip in Mombasa. Witnesses said the bus collided with a trailer.

- Timothy Mwirichia, Nairobi