Grim statistics on road accident deaths in 2019

A report by National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) that was released on December 19, 2019 shows that 3,409 people had died on road related accidents by that time. By December 31, 2019 the number had gone up following several other accidents witnessed across the country during the festive season.

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ROAD SAFETY The figure is an increase compared to the 3,004 deaths on the roads recorded over the same period in 2018. According to NTSA the number of crashes due to walking or standing on the road jumped by 100 percent to 40 cases between January and October in 2019.

The report also blames drivers for road accidents and deaths. “Being an extremely high-traffic and busy road, drivers are supposed to drive at 50km/h, but you find that some speed up to 80km/h, increasing the possibility of accidents,” said Kenya National Highway Authority (KeNHA) assistant director for Corporate Communications, Mr Charles Njogu. This data is likely to rekindle debate on pedestrian behaviour and safety on Kenyan roads.

While pedestrians have been accused of recklessly crossing the road at undesignated points, there is also been concern about lack of safety facilities such as sidewalks, foot bridges and zebra crossings. FOOTBRIDGES Most highways across the country don’t have footbridges, exposing pedestrians to road accidents.

It is only recently that the government stepped-up the installation of footbridges on key roads, including the Thika Superhighway where two more facilities are set to be fitted, adding to the existing 18 to enhance safety of those walking when speed bumps are removed. Nairobi county leads in the number of road accidents that have occurred countrywide last year, just like 2018. The report revealed that Mombasa Road is the most dangerous road in Nairobi.

A 2018 annual crime report by the Kenya National Police Service attributes accidents to speeding, drunk driving, fatigue and wrong use of the road by pedestrians.

Other factors are poor roads infrastructure and non-observance of traffic laws.

NTSA Director General George Njao argues that majority of the accidents are as a result of human errors.

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