Kenya’s transport regulator wants more policemen on roads at night and on weekends, when most accidents happen.
Most road deaths occur between 6pm and 10pm daily, while Saturdays have the highest fatalities compared to the other days of the week, the National Transport and Safety Authority says.
“This is the time when the presence of law enforcement is at the lowest,” NTSA boss Francis Meja said yesterday.
He spoke in Nairobi after opening the training of 20 NGO leaders from 15 countries, organised by Switzerland-based Global Alliance of NGOs for Road Safety. Meja said the authority recently acquired night vision speed cameras and would share them with the police. “Currently police have not been able to work during the night to prevent accidents,” he said.
Meja said they will also share with the police some of the chase cars they hired. “We still use those vehicles for our own purposes, but if we don’t need some of the vehicles and other assets we will share them with the police.”
Global Alliance boss Lotte Brondum said the advocates would this week test a new app that rates road transport safety in schools. “Five stars on app make a school a safe school but fewer stars means it is less safe for children,” she said.
Road safety advocate Bright Oywaya, also head of Asirt Kenya, praised the recent amendment to the Traffic Act, which introduced speed limits near schools. “The Act also lays out how school children should be transported in buses,” she said.
Oywaya said Kenyan drivers need culture change to bring down the deaths. Safedrive Africa director Isaac Mutashi, who attended the meeting, praised collaboration between the NTSA and road safety advocates.
“NTSA director general was very clear NGOs have a major role to play in road safety. We are happy to collaborate with the authority to build safety awareness,” he said.
About 3,000 Kenyans are killed in road crashes every year. However, the Ministry of Health says that number rises to about 13,000 Kenyans when you factor in those who die later in hospitals and at home.
The majority of those killed are vulnerable road users — pedestrians, motorcyclists, and cyclists. In addition, nearly one-third of deaths are among passengers – many of whom are killed in unsafe forms of public transportation.