It has been a tough year, but that’s no reason to party silly this season

Preparations for the Christmas festivities are in top gear. With anxieties over Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education examination results out of the way, there is every reason to make merry.

As families and friends reunite after a year of separation due to commitments, Christmas is the ideal season of peace, hope and love.

But family reunions entail a lot of travel, and therein lies the danger.

Over the years, road accidents in which scores have lost their lives occurred around the Christmas season. The reasons are simple; heavy vehicular movement, road indiscipline, defective vehicles and laxity on the part of traffic police officers.

Indeed, statistics from the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) paint a gloomy picture of road accidents. To date, the statistics indicate that a total of 3,388 people have died in accidents this year, representing an increase of 13.5 per cent in the same period in 2018.

This is unacceptable. It is all the more reason road users should exercise greater caution to preclude further deaths. Sadly, Kenya’s economy loses nearly 5 per cent of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to accidents. It behoves traffic police officers to exercise more diligence in enforcing traffic rules. Officers should not succumb to the temptation of soliciting bribes and allow ramshackle, unlicensed PSVs that could cause fatalities to operate on our roads as they are wont to.

For those in urban areas who wish to travel upcountry, safety and security should be your guiding factors.

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It is important to make proper arrangements to ensure unattended houses are not burgled. While you make merry, remember there are those inclined to try and reap where they did not sow.

The year 2019 has been characterised by ups and downs. The economy has not performed as projected, which, in some cases, resulted in redundancies. Rogue politicians have not made it any easier for us, but we cannot afford to lose hope now.

As we enjoy all that comes with Christmas, we should not overindulge. January, the month that most people love to blame for their problems, is only weeks away.

Remember also that KCPE candidates will be joining Form One in a couple of weeks, while farms need to be prepared for the coming planting season.While you enjoy your roasted goat ribs, fried chicken and tipple, the least you can do is exercise financial prudence and stop blaming January unfairly.

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