NIGHT TRAVELS

Cracking the whip on rogue road users will reduce accidents

NTSA should intensify education on good road habits as we approach the festive season

In Summary

• Road misbehaviour is worse at night because of fewer vehicles on the road and limited traffic inspection points.

• NTSA had rules that buses should have two drivers at night and a passenger manifest, rules that are no longer followed. 

The scene where 13 people were killed and scores injured in a road accident near Awasi along the Kisumu-Kericho Highway
CARNAGE: The scene where 13 people were killed and scores injured in a road accident near Awasi along the Kisumu-Kericho Highway
Image: COURTESY

The number of lives lost on our roads is alarming. The latest accident at Awasi on the Kericho-Kisumu Highway involved a trailer and an Eldoret Express bus where 13 lives were lost and more than 30 people injured.

Questions linger on what happened to the rules that were introduced by the National Transport and Safety Authority regarding buses that ply long-distance routes, especially at night.

For instance, buses were required to have two drivers at night and a passenger manifest. Currently, most of the buses are driven by one driver to save costs by the owners leading to fatigue and misjudgment by the tired driver. Some buses don’t have a passenger manifest especially those that pick passengers from every terminus.

This makes it difficult to identify passengers when an accident occurs, when the injured passengers are hospitalised or when death occurs and the next of kin have to be informed. What is saddening is the speed at which some of those buses are driven. It’s worse at night because of fewer vehicles on the road and limited traffic inspection points.

The way the drivers overtake is also very reckless. Furthermore, most of those buses are poorly serviced and operate with faulty parts. NTSA and the Traffic Police need to urgently launch a sustained crackdown on vehicle roadworthiness and compliance to traffic requirements. This should not only target public transport vehicles, especially where speeding is concerned.

More aggressive sensitisation by NTSA should also be undertaken as we the festive season. Rogue and indisciplined drivers should also be dealt with in order to bring back sanity on our roads. Most Kenyans miss the famed Michuki rules which made driving on Kenyan roads joyful.

 

Luanda