The National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) is working with County Governments and other stakeholders to set up road safety response plans and committees that will help improve road safety in the counties.
Speaking during a three-day road safety workshop in Naivasha, NTSA Director General (DG) Mr. George Njau said they are starting off with 10 counties which are traversed by the Mombasa – Malaba highway because of the high number of road accidents which are reported on this highway every year.
The workshop which is sponsored by the European Union (EU) was attended by County Executive Committee Members (CECM) from the 10 counties of Mombasa, Makueni, Machakos, Kajiado, Nairobi, Kiambu, Nakuru, Kericho, Kisumu and Kakamega where most road accidents have been reported along the Mombasa – Malaba highway.
Mr. Njau said the 10 counties will be assisted to adopt non-motorized means for road users such as construction of pedestrian walks and capacity building for motor-cyclists, popularly known as boda boda and road safety sensitization among other road safety measures.
He said the initiative which is part of the larger road safety campaigns known as ‘Usalama barabarani’ which was started five years go will later be expanded to cover other counties and added that the programme had borne some fruits.
“The counties will also be required to set up some funds for road safety programme which include road safety campaigns and awareness for road users. For instance, this financial year, Nairobi County has set aside Sh.750million for this purpose,” the NTSA Director General said.
Njau said one of what they are doing is to improve road signs and markings known as black spot management, working with counties to provide parking bays in a bid to stem road accidents.
On vandalism of road signs, the DG said they are embarking on using alternative materials such as poly-carbonated plastics instead of metals which have been targeted by the vandals.
To tame counterfeits goods such as motor oils and motor-vehicle spare – parts which has been known to contribute to road accidents, NTSA has also partnered with other partners such as the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority to ensure only quality products for the transport sector are brought into the market.
Njau also announced that they have also embarked on re-testing of drivers as one of the measures to curb road carnage.
This is one of the directives given by Road and Infrastructure Cabinet Secretary (CS) Onesmus Kipchumba Murkomen in his address to the Parliament last month.
NTSA director in charge of road safety programme Dr. Dancun Kibogong` noted that the number of fatalities on our roads had reduced by 47 as at March 20 this year following a reduction in fatalities involving pedestrians, pillion passengers and motorcyclists.
“Our data shows a reduction in fatalities from 1021 to 974, a 4.6 percent drop compared to a similar period in 2022. Victims who sustained serious injuries in 2022 was 9,935, a decrease from the 10,050 who were critically injured in 2021,” he said.
Two weeks ago, five people lost their lives in an accident at Sachangwan in Molo along the Nakuru Eldoret highway.
On April 18, five students of Mbihi Girls` Friends Secondary School in Vihiga County died on the spot and six others and the driver injured in a horrific road accident at Delamere farm in Naivasha, after a Nissan matatu they were travelling in collided head-on with a lorry along the Nairobi- Nakuru Highway.
A week earlier, eighteen (18) people including Pwani University students and staff died and scores of others seriously injured when their college bus lost control and rolled before it collided head-on with an oncoming matatu at Kayole area Naivasha.
Exactly two weeks before this tragic accident, four people most of whom were students who were heading home for half term break had died and 15 others seriously injured in a multiple accident involving five vehicles at the Kekopey area along the Gilgil – Nakuru highway.