Men's conference trains boda boda riders on road safety

Samuel Musumba, Manager in charge of Road Safety at NTSA, training bodaboda members on who is a safe rider. [James Wanzala, Standard]

The Men’s Conference Group marked Valentine's Day in Nairobi with training of male boda boda riders on road safety.

The training, which will be done throughout the year, was conducted by National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) on Wednesday.

“Today, the same training was done by 20 men's conference in 21 counties across the country under a campaign dubbed "Donate a Reflector Jacket and Help Our Men." It will continue in the rest of the 26 counties,” said media personality Stephen Letoo, the Men’s Conference Group national chairman.

Letoo noted that the ratio of men and women dying through boda boda related accidents in Nairobi stands at 8:10.

"But for counties like Kakamega, Kericho and Mombasa, women are dying more than men due to refusing to sit like men as they face the rider. Instead, they face sideways,” he said.

He said men and road safety topic was mooted last year during the Men's Conference held on February 14, 2023.

Last year the meeting was held under the theme of "Men and Mental Health" after realising that they have lost more men on the road.   

“We are not ready to lose more men on the road just because they are not geared with safety kits,” said Letoo.

According to NTSA, men are dying more on the road than women and 83.36 per cent of total fatalities last year were men compared to women at 16.64 per cent.

“I urge you to be smart rider by always wearing reflector, helmet, carrying only one pillion passenger per trip unless it’s a parent or guardian with a child who is not more than 12 years old," said NTSA Road Safety and Strategies Manager Samuel Musumba.

"Always ensure your motorbike has side mirrors, overtake on the right side and ride on right direction. Always respect traffic lights, ensure your motorbikes are in good condition, including tyres, especially, when you wake up in the morning before starting the day,’’ said Musumba.

He also encouraged riders to wear heavy clothes and not t-shirts.

"Go to driving school, put on knee guards safety shoes and not sandals and ensure your headlight is functional.”

Musumba revealed that soon there will be legal changes to require motorcycles to have speed governors just like vehicles.

The NTSA manager also announced plans to launch a laboratory to taste the standard of helmets in the country to ensure uniformity.

The boda boda riders received free reflector jackets donated by NTSA.

Musumba, cautioned against carrying children while seated on fuel tank.

He said that the vibration effects are harmful to children.

According to NTSA, by February 11, 2024 some 563 people died on the road compared to 537 during the same period last year.

The data shows that pedestrians lead in number of deaths at 216, followed by drivers at 35 and passengers 109.

Some 54 pillion (boda boda passengers) died followed by nine pedal cyclists and 140 motorcyclists.

Musumba noted that towards end of last year 4,430 people died on the road out of which 1,000 were deaths related to boda bodas.

He said they are getting feedback from boda boda riders on efficacy of electric-powered motorbikes and will soon push for more adoption and construction of more charging stations across the country.

“Our experts are also doing research to know how we can have solar-powered motorbikes that are also environmental friendly,” he said.

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