112 killed in road accidents in the Western region in past 100 days

Police say lack of training, reckless driving and inability to interpret road signs have contributed to the accidents. [Jackline Inyanji, Standard]

At least 112 people have died in road accidents between November and January this year in Western region.

Statistics released by the Regional Traffic Police Office show that 170 accidents were reported in the last 100 days in Kakamega, Bungoma, Busia and Vihiga counties.

Regional Traffic Police Commander Joseph Matiku said the region has been losing at least two people every day to road accidents.

In January alone, 17 deaths resulting from road accidents have been reported in Bungoma, Vihiga and Kakamega counties.

Mr Matiku said 60 accidents out of the 170 reported involved boda boda riders and claimed 36 lives.

"We lost 35 pedestrians, 33 passengers and eight drivers," said Matiku. He said cyclists and pedestrians are at higher risk of dying on the road.

Kakamega County leads the pack, having reported 71 road accidents, followed by Bungoma at 47, while Vihiga and Busia counties have recorded 26 accidents each.

Police have attributed the increase in road accidents to high numbers of motorists, population and the nature of Kakamega-Webuye, Kisumu-Kakamega, Webuye-Eldoret, Bungoma-Malaba and Busia-Kisumu highways.

According to Matiku, lack of training, reckless driving and inability to interpret road signs have contributed to the accidents.

"Some of the boda boda riders lack reflector jackets and protective gear, hence exposing themselves to danger," he said.

"We are experiencing high cases of deaths and road accidents on our roads because at least 80 per cent of the boda boda riders lack basic training skills and do not have driving licences as recommended."

The police boss said most boda boda operators do not understand road signs, what they mean, and how to use the road without endangering the lives of pedestrians and other motorists.

He said some motorists also get excited about using the newly constructed Kisumu-Kakamega and Kakamega-Webuye highways.