Road crashes claim 1,816 lives in six months

Matatu accident Bomet-Narok Road.

The wreckage of the matatu that was hit by an oncoming trailer-truck at TM area along  Bomet-Narok road on June 3, 2022 killing eight people. At least 20 lives were lost in various road crashes across the country over the weekend.

Photo credit: Pool

Road crashes remain a significant cause of deaths in Kenya, with 1,816 recorded in the first six months of this year.

The number of deaths is increasing, says the National Transport Safety Authority (NTSA), with Nairobi and Kiambu counties the top contributors to these grim statistics.

"Last year, Nairobi and Kiambu recorded 521 and 460 cases, respectively, with the same trend being reported this year. We have also noted that most cases, accounting for 66 percent, are happening between 4pm and 10pm and on weekends," said Duncan Kibogong, NTSA deputy director for road safety.

The majority of road crash victims are aged between 24 and 34, with males accounting for 84 percent of total deaths, Mr Kibogong said.

The latest data released on Tuesday by the NTSA show that motorcyclists are the main causes of death on Kenyan roads, with cases increasing from about 200 in 2000 to 1,576 in 2021.

The report indicates the country loses about five percent of its gross domestic product (GDP) to crashes.

The NTSA and other road safety stakeholders will roll out the Integrated Transport Management System (iTMS) at the end of the month aimed at reducing deaths, said Director-General George Njau.

"At the end of June, we shall roll it out countrywide where police will be equipped with smart applications to help them automatically collect key road data for easy action,” Mr Njau said. 

“The new applications will involve having modern speed limit checkers [and] authenticating valid road users’ documents, among others."

He spoke in Mombasa during the official opening of a conference on improving road transport safety that also drew representatives from the Kenya National Highway Authority, the Kenya Urban Roads Authority and others.

The NTSA, Mr Njau said, has also opened the National Enterprise Centre that will improve the processing of key road users’ documents such as driving licences by 300 percent.

The attendants are also expected to discuss a proposal to reduce the speed limit in urban areas from 50km per hour to 30kph.

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