Eight people were Sunday killed in an accident involving a lorry and two matatus on Eastern bypass, Nairobi.
Police said the truck driver had defied traffic police order to stop
Witnesses however said the lorry was forced to come to an abrupt stop by traffic officers before its driver lost control and rammed onto the two matatus.
Locals barricaded the road with stones in protest, moments after the disastrous accident forcing the officers who were at the scene to flee for their lives.
The accident, which happened near Kangundo Road junction, caused a major traffic snarl up with motorists being advised to avoid the busy bypass. Majority of the victims were women headed for church events.
This is the latest accident to happen despite campaigns to address the menace.
In the last ten months, more men than women were killed in various accidents in the country, a report by the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) says.
Some 2,735 people were killed by October this year as compared to 2,335 who died in the same period in 2018 which is an increase by 400 victims.
Of those who have died this year, 2,263 were men (83.3 per cent) 459 women (16.7 per cent). In 2019, 1,927 men were killed as compared to 406 women.
This year, 5,119 people have been seriously injured as compared to 3,478 of last year in the same period, which is an increase by 1,641.
NTSA further says the majority of the victims are pedestrians which stood at 1,049 followed by drivers at 262, passengers at 554 and motor cyclists at 815 so far.
Private cars led in the accidents followed by commercial ones, then comes motorcycles, public service vehicles, unknown ones, government and tuktuk follow in the order.
Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i said the figures are high despite the campaigns mounted to address the same.
He said security agencies are mounting an operation in the country ahead of the festive season to address the menace.
“The economic cost of road crashes is three to five percent of our GDP or Sh300 billion annually,” he said.
He added road crashes are the highest contributors to disability in Kenya, health burden, poverty through loss of able bread winners
An estimated 3,000 deaths from road crashes occur annually in Kenya and about 40 percent are pedestrians.
A study by NTSA has shown most accidents happen on Sundays and Saturdays followed by Fridays, Mondays, Wednesdays, Tuesdays and least ones on Thursdays.
On Sundays alone, some 497 people have been killed as compared to 480 who died on Saturdays and 406 on Fridays.
Nairobi, Kiambu, Machakos, Nakuru, Kakamega, Makueni and Muranga lead in number of accidents while Migori, Baringo, Taita Taveta, Uasin Gishu, Bomet and Homabay had least accidents in periods under study.
This year, some 337 people have died in Nairobi, 233 in Kiambu, 181 in Nakuru, Machakos 168, 105 in Murang’a and 102 in Makueni.
Most victims who died were between 30 and 34, 25 and 29, 35 and 39, 20 to 24 and 40 to 44. The least affected age group is 70 and above and up to four years.
Those who were aged between 30 and 34 and died this year were 298 while those between 25 and 29 were 298 and between 35 and 39 were 270.
The report adds that 69 percent of accidents occurred between 5pm and 7:59am while 31 per cent of the accidents occurred during the day.
The authority argued majority of the causes of road crashes is related to road user behavior, which contributes to 98 percent of the causes.
The factors include driver user behavior, motor vehicle related issues which show approximately 160,000 vehicles currently have expired inspections and road infrastructure issues.
Human error contributed to 98 percent of the accidents as compared to the 1.93 percent this year so far. Hit and run have caused 925 deaths, losing control 415, overtaking improperly 225 and misjudging clearance 140. Excessive speeding caused 120 deaths while brake failure caused 22 deaths.
“There are numerous blackspots emanating from poor road designs, lack of signage, road markings, road lightings, lack of non-motorized transport (NMTS) facilities.”
Lack of non-motorized transport (NMTS) facilities leading to pedestrians crossing at undesignated and dangerous points has contributed to the mess.
The agency wants focus be on the drivers who violate traffic laws and regulation and suspend driver’s license, retrain and retest them before they regain the license.
“There is need to address the issues on blackspots identified in the road safety audits and a commitment from road agencies to solve the problem.”
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