DEATH TOLL AT 3,409

Road accidents claim more lives in 2019 than previous years

Speeding, overloading, drunk driving, fatigue and wrong use of the road by pedestrians blamed for crashes

In Summary

Already, 3,409 have perished so far compared to 3,004 who perished the same period last year, representing 13.5 per cent increase.

A wreckage of a salon car after greasily road accident involving the salon car and a lorry near Salgaa trading center along Nakuru-Eldoret highway, three people died in the accident. Photo Ben Ndonga.
A wreckage of a salon car after greasily road accident involving the salon car and a lorry near Salgaa trading center along Nakuru-Eldoret highway, three people died in the accident. Photo Ben Ndonga.

 

Deaths arising from road accidents continue to rise days to the end of the year despite figures showing 2019 crashes have claimed more lives than previous years.

Data from the National Transport and Safety Authority shows 3,409 people have already died this year compared to 3,004 in 2018.

NTSA data as of December 19 says this represents 13 per cent increase.

Pedestrians account for the highest casualties with 1,323 said to have been killed. last year, 1,147 pedestrians died in road accidents.

Some 320 pillion passengers have also died this year compared to 235 the same period last year. The statistics show that 325 drivers have perished compared to 297 in 2018.

The number of passenger deaths have however reduced. Data shows 677 have died this year compared to 699 last year. The others are pedal cyclists (73) and motorcyclists (691).

NTSA has cited speeding, overloading, drunk driving, fatigue and wrong use of the road by pedestrians as the major causes of accidents. Poor infrastructure and non-observance of traffic laws are among other causes.

According to the World Health Organisation, between 5,000 and 15,000 lives are lost on Kenyan roads every year. Kenyan authorities have however pegged the figure at about 3,000.

WHO unlike Kenyan authorities make a comprehensive follow-up on injuries, get data from hospitals and mortuaries. According to Economic Survey 2019, traffic deaths increased by eight per cent to 3,153 in 2018.

The survey showed that the number of reported accidents increased from 4,452 in 2017 to 5,144 last year (15.5 per cent). 

"The number of persons who sustained serious injuries increased by 18.5 per cent over the same period," the survey says.

In 2017, 2,919 people died in road accidents with another 2,965 having perished the previous year.

Early this month, Inspector-General Hillary Mutyambai directed traffic police officers manning roadblocks to arrest all excess passengers in PSVs during this festive season.

In a joint press briefing with NTSA director general George Njao, Mutyambai said order was part of the efforts to ensure maximum safety during the holidays.

Police were directed to allow the rest of the passengers to proceed with the journey.

The IG said it is the responsibility of the passenger to know when a vehicle is full and thus those who board already filled up matatus have no excuse.