Young, promising Kenyans' lives snuffed out by road accidents

From left: Road accident victims Steve Chege, Maureen Wairimu and Boniface Muganda. [Standard]

Social media platforms Facebook and Twitter have, of late, seen several posts dedicated to mourning young and promising Kenyans whose lives were cut short in road accidents.

The number of crashes have increased, forcing the police service to launch a nationwide crackdown on unroadworthy vehicles.

Recklessness, speeding, drink-driving, lack of signage, poorly maintained roads, fatigue, corruption and poorly maintained vehicles are some of the leading causes of accidents on Kenyan roads.

Grim statistics indicate that as of September 13, 2022, some 3,358 people had died in road accidents from January 1, 2022.

That figure represented an increase of the deaths by 236 (7.6 per cent) from the same period in 2021.

Pedestrians accounted for the highest number of road accident victims at 1,208 as of September 13, compared to 1,085 in the same period last year.

Nine hundred and three (903) motorcyclists lost their lives in 2022, which was an increase of 4.2 per cent compared to the same period in 2021.

Five hundred and ninety-one (591) passengers died in 2022, an increase of 18.7 per cent from 2021.

Last Sunday alone (October 30), some five people died in separate road accidents.

Steve Chege, a former Jubilee candidate in the Laikipia senatorial race, died on Monday, a few hours after the Sunday accidents.

Chege, 30, died following an accident on the Northern Bypass in Nairobi.

It is reported that he hurtled onto guardrails after swerving to avoid hitting a motorcyclist.

Chege, who was taken to the Kenyatta University Teaching, Referral and Research Hospital, died during treatment.

Geraldine Muiruri, Chege's relative, told The Standard that the tricenarian died of haemorrhage.

"He'd lost a lot of blood. We'd made an online blood appeal, but sadly Chege succumbed to his injuries," said Muiruri.

Chege is survived by a wife and a five-month-old son.

On Sunday, three people aboard a Tuk Tuk died after a Toyota Land Cruiser Prado rammed them on the Eastern Bypass in Nairobi. An 11-year-old child was among those killed.

On Saturday, October 29, Maureen Wairimu, a video journalist, died after a car she was travelling in was rammed by a truck at Elementaita in Nakuru County.

Her friends describe the 25-year-old as a "dedicated videographer, who was very friendly".

Macharia Wangui, a journalist, said on Facebook: "Maureen Wairimu, the stories we executed are testament to your professionalism. I'll live to remember the feature stories we did in Nyandarua and other regions."

Wairimu, popularly known as Nimo in social media circles, pursued Journalism at the Mount Kenya University, graduating in August 2019.

She interned at Royal Media Services (RMS) as a videographer.

Another life cut short in a road accident was that of Boniface Muganda, the Lead Designer at the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI).

Muganda died on October 23 after his motorbike was hit by a speeding motorist at Marurui area on the Northern Bypass.

DCI Director Amin Mohamed described Muganda as a "gifted communications officer whose skills in photography, videography and graphics design propelled him to head the creative design desk at the DCI".

There are more young lives lost in accidents that we might not have highlighted in this article, but with the increase in accident-related deaths, something needs to be done urgently.

Kenyans, the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) and the police service should step up and guarantee safety on the roads.

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