• Drivers accused of freewheeling to save a few litres of petrol.
• Easy Coach and 4NTE saccos lauded for recording few to no accidents.
Behaviour change among road users will play a big role in ending road carnage, according to the National Transport and Safety Authority.
The change involves simple things such as driving safely and being mindful of other road users, NTSA director general Francis Meja told the launch of the UN Global Road Safety Campaign Week in Nairobi yesterday.
The theme of this year’s week is Leadership for Road Safety.
According to Matatu Welfare Association chairman Dickson Mbugua, 85 per cent of road crashes in the country are a result of road users behaviour.
The roads authority also plans to start a beyond-zero deaths campaign to reduce traffic deaths.
“Most of the road users are always in a hurry to nowhere. We lose lives through drivers who think free-wheeling will enable them to save a few litres of petrol and this is a mindset we must change,” Meja said.
“We must apply homegrown solutions; simple things like someone in a matatu fitted with seatbelts but they don’t fasten the belt. The number of lives lost is too high and we must say enough is enough,” he said.
The DG acknowledged that the PSV sector has improved but there are new challenges - pedestrians account for 40 per cent of accidents and boda boda users are also dying in large numbers.
“The boda boda sector needs serious reforms. Some ride against traffic while others turn at undesignated spots. Others wear helmets on their hands instead of their heads.”
Meja dismissed reports that driving schools are being deregistering, clarifying that they want to validate their documents and ensure they complied with the law.
Upon the expiry of the notice given recently, there will be a major countrywide crackdown by a team constituted to inspect them and ensure standards are maintained as "this is where the challenge of road safety begins".
The authority commended Easy Couch and 4NTE saccos for having a good transport record and operating with minimal or no case of fatalities.
“4NTE which has a fleet of more than 700 vehicles has had zero fatalities in the last two years. Bamburi Cement operators have achieved 20 million hours accident-free. What is it that they are doing right? Those are the things we need to know so that we can replicate to the notorious ones,” he said.
Senior assistant Inspector General Julius Kanampiu said road accidents affect everyone in the country.
“The battle belongs to all of us and we must do whatever it takes to end the carnage on our roads. Together we have the ability,” Kanampiu said.
(Edited by R.Wamochie)