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Road safety measures need to be reasonable

UREPORT
By Tom Arody | December 21st 2015

Some years back, a body was formed for the main purpose of ensuring road safety in the country. This body was named the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA).

Lately, NTSA has mutated to an arm of the Government not necessarily interested in ensuring road safety within logical provisions but rather through punitive approaches.

What really encompasses road safety? In the eyes of NTSA it seems the answer is propping speed limit signs on any road they think can generate instant fines. All the decisions seem to be based on the behavioural aspect of the driver who is assumed to be intent on killing any human being he or she sees walking on the road. No other variables are put into consideration. Imagine driving a car at 50kph on a highway for a distance of say 18km.

Does NTSA use the input of any technical persons in determining where and what speed limits to place on any part of the Kenyan roads?

Similar speed limits are placed on roads leaving and approaching the Nairobi CBD from as far as the JKIA junction among other areas. Curiously, their enforcement is done on weekends when roads are clearer, safer and courts are not working. The speed limits do not apply to vehicles that carry the “high and mighty”.

Having roads clearly marked is a very critical step in enhancing road safety and this has not been done.

I would not, however, wish to be mistaken to be a proponent of speeding or reckless driving. I drive safely and ensure that everyone around me is safe within and outside the vehicle I am in control of. What I am sure many drivers in Kenya need is for the speed limits to be reasonable as the statutory body exercises its obligations.

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