Motorists plying the Kisumu-Busia road are under scrutiny for breaking traffic rules and increasing the number of accidents.
The National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) reports that 3,358 people died on Kenyan roads between January 1 and September 13.
They included 1,085 pedestrians, 903 motorcyclists, 591 passengers and 44 bicyclists
In the past 10 months, at least 10 people have died on the Kisumu-Busia highway, according to police reports from Kisumu, Vihiga, Siaya and Busia counties, which are served by the same highway.
Most of the accidents involve bodaboda riders, matatus and heavy trucks that ferry goods between Kenya and Uganda.
Other road users blame the accidents on motorists who allegedly drive recklessly on the busy route.
“Accidents that occur along this highway can easily be avoided if only the motorists were careful,” said Mr Philemon Otieno, a resident of Rang’ala.
“Other than the reported cases, there are several incidents that never reach the police, mostly involving bodaboda operators and public service vehicles.”
Hit and run
On June 1, two people died after being hit by a speeding car in Ugunja, on the same highway. The car did not stop.
“The motorcyclist and a pillion passenger were heading to Kisumu when they had a head-on crash with a Toyota Probox travelling from the opposite direction,” he added.
“The two were later buried and we don’t know how far the police went with their investigations. There are other people who have also been maimed from the accidents along the same highway.”
Drastic action should be taken to restore sanity among motorists using that highway, former Siaya County Sports executive Charles Ogada told the Nation.
“It is sad that young people are [dying] prematurely just because someone is not doing his job,” he said.
“The work of the police is to ensure the people follow the law and not massaging the law-breakers. If we continue with this trend, we will lose many productive youths on this highway.”
The police have stepped up patrols along the highway and have made several arrests, said Ugunja sub-county Police Commander Emanuel Rono.
“There are a number of rogue drivers who drive carelessly along the highway, especially the Sidindi-Rangala-Ugunja stretch, where we have reported many accidents, which have claimed the lives of some people,” he said.
The highway is narrow with heavy trucks using it between Kenya and Uganda.
“It is a very busy highway joining two countries, but it is very narrow, especially in the Rang’ala stretch and there are many trucks that ferry goods to Uganda,” he said.
“There are also public service vehicles and bodaboda operators who use the same highway, which makes it one of the hotspots.”
At least 20 people died on the same highway in an explosion as they tried to siphon fuel from a petrol tanker in the Malanga area of Gem sub-county.