DEADLY ROAD

Outering Road, Thika Road identified as Nairobi's deadliest

In June 2018, the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) ranked Nairobi’s Outer Ring Road as the most dangerous highway in the city.

In Summary

• The dualling of Outering road was a Sh8.5 billion project was launched by President Uhuru Kenyatta in January 2015 and funded by the African Development Bank and the government.

• Nairobi county leads in terms of road crashes having recorded 439 accidents since the year began until October 31, 2021.

Pedestrians crossing Outering Road at Fedha area.
DANGER: Pedestrians crossing Outering Road at Fedha area.
Image: EZEKIEL AMING'A

Eastlands Outering Road and Thika Superhighway have been named Nairobi's most dangerous roads according to a National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) latest report.

Despite the dualling of 13 km of Outering Road started, the road has recorded the highest number of road accidents so far this year.

NTSA data seen by the Star shows Outering Road has recorded 37 accidents from January to October 31, 2021 , followed by Thika SuperHighway with 34.

Waiyaki Way and Mombasa Road which have been under construction due to the Expressway, have recorded 31 and 29 accidents respectively.

The Northern Bypass has recorded 25 accidents, followed by Eastern Bypass with 24, Southern Bypass at 23 , Kangundo Road at 21 and Ngong Road at 20.

Nairobi county leads in terms of road crashes having recorded 439 accidents since the year began until October 31, 2021.

This is an increase compared to the 397 recorded in the same period last year.

In August, the national government was urged to erect barricades to forestall the recurrence of multiple accidents along Outering Road .

This came at a time when there was an uproar over the increase of pedestrian fatalities and accidents along the road.

Embakasi West George Theuri noted that accidents and deaths along Outering road especially between former Taj Mall and Allsops have been on the increase, almost occurring on a daily basis.

He explained that at least four pedestrian fatalities are reported every month as a result of commuters ignoring to use footbridges to get to the other side of the road.

Weekly pedestrian accidents are always reported to my office by residents with most of them faulting pedestrians who refuse to use the footbridges that have been provided for,” he said.

This is despite the Kenya Urban Roads Authority, having set up at least 11 footbridges across the 13km stretch.

The footbridges are put at strategic positions especially where two estates opposite each other connect.

The dualling of Outering road was a Sh8.5 billion project was launched by President Uhuru Kenyatta in January 2015 and funded by the African Development Bank and the government.

In terms of road user group in Nairobi, the NTSA statistics reveal that pedestrians top the list with 233 having died due to road crashes in Nairobi.

Motorcyclists come in second having recorded 88 crashes, followed by passengers at 47, Drivers 34, Pillion Passengers 26 and Pedal cyclists at 11.

According to its design, in between the dual carriage Outering  road , there is a narrow but slightly deep ditch which makes it difficult for people to cross through.

However, people have been risking crossing the busy road with some even on two wheels and others carrying children .

Pedestrians have been evading using the footbridges with many risking their lives attempting to cross the road.

Concerns had been raised that hawkers have completely evaded some footbridges in Nairobi, making it almost impossible to utilize them.

However, Theuri said that it is a lame excuse as having to manoeuvre through the 'crowded' footbridge is more important than having to lose one's life through an accident.

One cannot say they prefer crossing a busy because hawkers have crowded the footbridge. That is a lame excuse because the footbridges are passable but some pedestrians tend to prefer using shortcuts,” he added.

Last month, the Kenya Urban Roads Authority and the police conducted an exercise that saw at least 300 people arrested for crossing at undesignated points along major Nairobi roads.

The majority of those arrested for crossing at undesignated points were along Outering Road and Mbagathi Way now known as Raila Odinga Way.

The Outering Road has been making headlines in the past two years leading in the number of accidents between 2018 -2019.

In June 2018, the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) ranked Nairobi’s Outer Ring Road as the most dangerous highway in the city.

In August 2019, Outering Road came in second after data from NTSA ranked Mombasa road the deadliest road in Nairobi.

Edited by D Tarus