HIGHWAYS OF DEATH

Road accidents claim 73 lives in first five days of New Year

Numbers far higher than those recorded in the same period last year

In Summary
  • NTSA said at least 3,225 died on Kenyan roads in 2019
  • Nineteen passengers perished compared to seven the same period last year
Inspector General of Police Hillary Mutyambai with National Transport and Safety Authority Director General George Njao during a joint press briefing. Image: EZEKIEL AMING'A
Inspector General of Police Hillary Mutyambai with National Transport and Safety Authority Director General George Njao during a joint press briefing. Image: EZEKIEL AMING'A

Over 70 people have lost their lives on Kenyan roads in the first five days of 2020, statistics from the National Transport and Safety Authority show.

That means 14 lives were lost daily, equalling a matatu killing all on board each day.

 

The statistics show that 31 pedestrians had perished by January 5 compared 13 who perished the same period last year.

That is a 138 per cent variance, the statistics shows.

Nineteen passengers have perished so far compared to seven the same period last year, a 171 per cent rise.

Four drivers have perished compared to three the same period last year, a 33.3 per cent variance.

Further, 13 motorcyclists have so far died compared to eight the same period last year.

Five pillion passengers have died so far compared to one in the same period last year.

One pedal cyclist has died so far.

At least 26 pedestrians have sustained serious injuries compared to 15 the same period last year.

Four have sustained slight injuries compared to five. So far, 32 drivers have sustained serious injuries.

Eighty-one passengers sustained slight injuries.

NTSA said at least 3,225 died on Kenyan roads in 2019.

Last year, 10,825 people were injured in road accidents compared to 8,954  injuries recorded in 2018.

This is despite warnings from authorities such as the Inspector General of Police Hillary Mutyambai on December 19.

The IG had directed traffic police officers manning roadblocks to arrest all excess passengers in PSVs during the festive season.

Mutyambai said it was the responsibility of passenger to know when a vehicle was full and those who board vehicles that were already full had no excuse.

"The responsibility lies with the passengers. They can never blame the public service vehicles conductor for being the excess passenger," he said.

He made the announcement in a joint press briefing with NTSA Director General George Njao.

Mutyambai warned that the rule would be enforced before and even after the festive season.

"NTSA has been instructed to deal firmly with those found flouting transport regulations. Drunk driving will not be accepted," he said.

Despite the warnings, accidents have been rising.

The World Health Organisation says between 5,000 and 15,000 lives are lost on Kenyan roads every year.

However, government agencies usually peg the figures at about 3,000.