2,411 people killed, thousands injured in road accidents since January

Traffic Police Commandant Samuel Kimaru. [Sammy Omingo, Standard]
Traffic Commandant Samuel Kimaru says 2,411 people have perished on the spot in road accidents in the past 10 months.

3,523 more Kenyans have been left with permanent injuries, majority being boda boda riders and their passengers.

According to Kimaru, careless driving has led to 908 pedestrians sustaining injuries while 42 boda boda riders have lost their lives within the same period.

Speaking in Kisii on Thursday evening while addressing different stakeholders in the matatu industry, Kimaru explained that most accidents in the Country are caused by recklessness and don’t care attitude by majority road users.

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“It is the responsibility of every Kenyan to take responsibility while operating on Kenyan roads. There are those Kenyans who been stealing road signs from along the main roads and selling them as scrap,” said Kimaru.

He added: “All drivers and boda boda riders must have proper documentation. It is mandatory that they under refresher training and strictly adhere to road use rules and regulations.”

The Traffic Commandant also warned traffic officers against allowing private cars commonly referred as ‘Probox’ to operate as matatus. “We will take legal action against officers who will allow such vehicles operate as matatus.”

Last month, Traffic Police Officers in Kisii begun a new safety drive to restore sanity on its roads.

Elvis Kemboi, the Traffic Police officer in charge of Ogembo told The Standard that such measures are only aimed at improving road safety and not punishing anybody.

“We all endeavor to keep our roads safe by being responsible. It is unfortunate that a passenger could board an overloaded matatu and in case of an accident blame police officers. We all have to fight this menace as a team,” said Kemboi.

His boss, Kisii Police Commander Hassan Abdi agreed that passengers too have to change their attitude. “That is an industry that requires discipline and strict adherence to the law. Every road user must operate within the confines of the set rules and regulations.”

According to Abdi, the issue of overload and driving of unworthy road vehicles cannot be debated. “We will deal decisively with all those engaging in impunity along our roads,” he said.  

For several years, traffic police officers have been accused of not doing enough to end the Matatu menace along Kenya’s major roads.

From taking bribes to failing to enhance traffic regulations, police have always found themselves on the wrong side; in most cases being faulted for the numerous road accidents in the country.

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Samuel KimaruRoad AccidentsNTSARoad Carnage