NTSA back on the road as schools reopen


National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) officers during a crackdown on unroadworthy vehicles and drivers flaunting road safety rules in the past.NTSA will be on the road across the country to support Traffic Police to ensure safety as schools reopen on May 13, 2024.

Photo credit: File| Nation Media Group

Multi-agency teams drawn from the National Police Service and the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) have been deployed along major highways countrywide to enhance safety on the roads as learners start reporting to schools ahead of the delayed reopening today.

In a notice, NTSA emphasised the need to maintain speed limits, lane discipline and avoiding driving while under the influence of alcohol.

“Pamoja tuhakikishe watoto wetu wamefika shuleni salama,” NTSA said.

NTSA's road safety manager Samuel Musumba says following the recent floods that have been experienced across the country, most roads are not in good condition and therefore drivers should exercise caution.

“We urge drivers to avoid speeding, reckless overtaking, overloading, and driving under the influence of alcohol and parents to ensure their children board compliant PSVs and school buses,” he said.

On his part, Transport Cabinet Secretary Kipchumba Murkomen has said that the government is implementing measures to enhance road safety as schools prepare to reopen on Monday, May 13, 2024.

“We have devised strategies to ensure our roads are safe as our children return to school on Monday. All vehicles must adhere to traffic laws for the safety of everyone,” said Murkomen.

He stressed that his ministry is strictly enforcing the traffic rules and regulations, while stressing the need for drivers and all road users to exercise caution, especially to protect the lives of students.

“We are working with the Ministry of the Interior, which has instructed the National Police Service to ensure safety on the roads, especially for students returning to school,” he added.

“In light of the high number of students returning to school, there will be increased scrutiny of public transport to ensure compliance. We are committed to stringent enforcement to guarantee the safety of our people.”

Inspector General of Police Japhet Koome, has also urged motorists to collaborate with the officers, adding that the move comes days before schools reopen for the second term next week hence traffic is expected to increase.

“Primary and secondary schools are due for re-opening next week and we expect that road traffic, both human and vehicular, will be very heavy. While police and NTSA officers have been deployed along the major highways, we call upon all motorists to cooperate with the law enforcement Officers to improve our service delivery,” he said.

“In the best interest of children that will be travelling back to school, and for the safety of the general public, the National Police Service would like to caution all motorists and boda boda riders to be extra vigilant on the roads, and strictly comply with traffic regulations and rules.”

Last month, Mr Murkomen ordered school transportation only to be allowed to operate between 6 am and 7 pm.

“All public schools are required to present their vehicles for inspection to assess their mechanical soundness and their speed limiter functionality by May 1, 2024,” said Mr Murkomen who was accompanied by IG Japhet Koome.

Similarly, the Draft Traffic (School Transport) Rules 2024 outline regulations for schools to ensure compliance with traffic laws regarding their vehicles.

Schools were supposed to reopen for the second term on April 29, but the government postponed this in the wake of heavy rain and devastating floods that have so far killed more than 257 people.

The reopening of the schools comes days after the government revoked licences belonging to 64 matatu saccos including Kensilver Express, Moline, Mbukinya, Kiambu United and Moro Express.

NTSA which issued the notice last week, warned that police are under orders to impound their vehicles if found on the road. The agency also advised members of the public not to board them.

In what will be a major blow to commuters, the directive will affect both short and long-distance travelers plying different routes across the country.

Latest data from NTSA reveals that at least 1,213 people have died on the road in the past three months.

Pedestrians account for the largest number of fatalities at 445, followed by motorcyclists at 285 and passengers at 259.

According to the data captured between January 1 and April 3, pillion (motorcycle) passengers came fourth at 103 followed by drivers (99) and pedal cyclists (24).

The deaths are an increase of 5.8 per cent from 1,146 during the same period last year.

Last year, more than 4,300 people were killed in road accidents while the rest – from the 22,885 that were involved in accidents, were left with life-changing injuries.