Death on Kenyan road record slight drop

Police Commissioner in charge of operations in the traffic department Mary Omari with boda boda operators in Naivasha during a campaign on safe driving. She challenged them to wear helmets to reduce accident fatalities. [Antony Gitonga, Standard]
The number of fatal accidents in the country has dropped slightly according to the latest data from the department of traffic.

According to the department, the numbers of those who have died between January and now stand at 1,279 against 1,293 in the same period last year.

While releasing the figures, the commissioner in charge of operations in the traffic department Mary Omari noted that motorcycle operators and pedestrians accounted for the highest numbers.

She noted that 489 pedestrians, 275 passengers, 242 motorcycle operators, 107 pavilion passengers and 25 cyclists had died up to date.

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“We are concerned by the rising number of fatal accidents in the country majority of which are caused by speeding and careless drivers,” she said.

Omari added that up to date a total of 5,104 accidents had been reported across the country with 1279 been fatal, 1683 serious and 2142 slight.

“The government is billion of shillings every year in treating those involved in road accidents across the country and this can be reduced by changing our behavior on the road,” she said.

The senior government officer was speaking in Naivasha town after holding a meeting with boda boda operators as part of the ongoing campaign on safe driving.

During the tour, Omari who was accompanied by senior traffic officers and NTSA officials called for a culture change among the drivers.

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“Drivers are being urged to stop overlapping, driving while under the influence of alcohol and speeding as this are the main causes of deaths on our road,” she said.

On his part, the chief inspector Boniface Otieno from traffic headquarters noted that youths involved in motorcycle services were the most affected.

He noted that their crackdown had revealed that some of the operators had not insured their motorcycle and thus they were not compensated whenever there was an accident.

“Majority of those motorcycle operators who have died or maimed for life are youths who are 25 years and below just when they are at their prime,” he said.

The chairman Naivasha PSV Owners Association (NAPOA) chairman Stephen Mungai said that they were keen to work with traffic department and NTSA to reduce the fatalities on the road.

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“Last week we had a training session for all matatu drivers who agreed to change their attitude while on the road and we shall continue to partner with traffic officers to make our roads safer,” he said.

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