Murkomen opts for the private sector to tame road accidents

Roads and Transport Cabinet Secretary Kipchumba Murkomen.[Denis Kibuchi, Standard]

Roads and Transport CS Kipchumba Murkomen now says he has a master plan to tame the recent upsurge in road accidents.

Murkomen, who appeared on Citizen TV’s Monday Report, unveiled proposals that are likely to rely heavily on the private sector players and self-discipline of Kenyans while on the roads.

Murkomen wants a vehicle inspection role relinquished to a private company to bypass corrupt government inspectors. The National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) currently performs this role.

“Many vehicles wrongly pass the inspection because the people inspecting the vehicle are facing no consequences,” lamented Murkomen.

“These inspection centres that will be run by the private sector will have certain legal obligations liability will move to a private company which will then find it very difficult to take a bribe because the consequences will be dire,” he added.

The government is also likely to partner with the private sector to roll out vehicle telematics systems, which collect and transmit vehicle data for real-time monitoring to detect traffic offences that will attract instant fines.

“We are not going to use any public money. We are going to use the private sector to install the cameras, and then we are going to collect billions of money," he added.

At the same time, CS Murkomen is advocating for more police checkpoints, arguing that no Kenyan will offer bribes at all the stops and will instead observe the set rules.

The CS has also rebuked passengers for failure to call out traffic offenses by matatu operators while warning Kenyans against vandalism of road furniture, including road markings.

Bodaboda operators, for instance, frequently carry excess passengers without the prescribed protective gear such as a helmet, contributing to up to 38% of the reported deaths.

“We want to reduce road accidents by half by 2030,” declared Murkomen.

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