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NTSA should rise above policing pedestrians

UREPORT
By Joe Musyoki | July 15th 2016

The many accidents being witnessed along Mombasa Road near Airtel, next to the Northern Bypass interchange, are an indictment on the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) for failing to enhance road safety.

NTSA has been operating an illegal pedestrian crossing using a whistle, where its officials blow a whistle for oncoming cars to stop so that people can cross the road. It is only a matter of time before we witness more fatalities.

Cumulatively, accident claims that have been given out from this ‘human’ crossing are enough to build a Sh50 million footbridge.

It is sad that NTSA has invested billion of shillings in operational overheads and increased staff and patrol cars, yet accidents continue to increase.

The question is, what is NTSA doing differently from the Traffic Department? How does locking up civilians and demanding bribes reduce road accidents? Shouldn’t NTSA be monitoring traffic officers so that they change their culture while on the roads?

Investment in NTSA has not borne fruit because the agency, instead of ensuring road safety, has reduced itself to policing pedestrians.

The agency should operate at a higher level by having a greater say in road designs, location of footbridges, content of driving school curriculum and instituting behavioural change among drivers through refresher courses, among others.

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