Ruto's orders to CS Murkomen over increased road accidents

President William Ruto arriving at the National Road Safety Action Plan 2024-2028 event at KICC, Nairobi. [PCS]

President William Ruto has tasked Transport CS Kipchumba Murkomen with leading efforts to reduce fatalities and injuries resulting from road accidents within the next year.

Speaking during the launch of the National Road Safety Action Plan 2024-2028 at KICC in Nairobi, Ruto also urged all stakeholders in the transport sector to fully participate in ensuring road safety.

"For too long, there has been a disconnect and competition between traffic police and the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) in enforcing traffic rules, which has hindered the achievement of desired results," he remarked.

The President also called on Inspector General of Police Japhet Koome and the NTSA Director General to collaborate closely to enhance road safety measures.

"Mr. IG, Mr. DG, please, I expect greater collaboration so that we can see results," said Ruto.

Ruto has also directed the Ministry of Transport to ensure that all road accident hotspots, road junctions, and PSVs are fitted with cameras within 90 days.

Among other measures he recommended is the reimbursement of fares for passengers in a PSV found carrying excess passengers.

"I also urge Kenyans to remain vigilant and report any traffic violations. We cannot afford to have over 20,000 people hospitalized due to road accidents," he added.

According to Transport Cabinet Secretary Kipchumba Murkomen, a significant portion of road accidents in the country result from recklessness by boda boda riders. 

Murkomen referenced their frequent violations of traffic rules, saying: "If we are to address the issue of road accidents, we must tackle the boda boda sector.”

Statistics indicate that 32 percent of road accident fatalities involve boda boda riders, while pedestrians account for 38 percent of fatalities on Kenyan roads.

Recent data from the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) shows that at least 1,213 people have been killed in road accidents in the past three months.

Pedestrians account for the largest number of fatalities at 445, followed by motorcyclists at 285 and passengers at 259. According to the data captured between January and April 3, pillion (motorcycle) passengers came fourth at 103 followed by drivers (99) and pedal cyclists (24).

Kenya currently has 2.5 million motorcycles. The National Road Safety Action Plan 2024-2028 aims to halve the number of accidents during its implementation period.

Additional Reporting by Okumu Modachi