20 October 2012

Kenya: Carnage Blamed On Substance Use

Photo: Caroline Mwakio/AllAfrica
President Mwai Kibaki assents to Traffic Bill to curb road carnage

MAJORITY of Kenyans do not take personal responsibility for their safety on the road, a new poll on road safety has revealed.

The poll released yesterday by Ipsos Synovate further says that 64 per cent of Kenyans think the police have the responsibility of ensuring road safety through enforcement of law, 44 per cent mention motorists while 22 per cent indicate pedestrians.

The survey also indicates that careless driving and substance use are blamed for road accidents in Kenya. The poll conducted in July 2012 showed that road safety campaigns driven by popular brands or embedded in entertaining programmes have more impact than those sponsored by government agencies.

The main causes of road accidents in the country fall under five categories including motorists, poor enforcement of traffic rules, pedestrian related causes, poor road conditions and use of unroadworthy vehicles.

The study found that majority of Kenyans attributed the causes of road accidents to motorist factors such as speeding and driving while drunk.

Only 7 per cent of Kenyans feel that pedestrians have a responsibility to be careful on the roads. "Our findings support evidence after many accidents where passengers say that the driver was driving at high speed and yet they often do not request them to slow down until it is tool late," said Ipsos Synovate Kenya managing director Margaret Ireri.

She noted that the tendency by Kenyans to leave road safety to the police instead of taking person responsibility for their own safety is the reason people continue to die on roads.

Two thousand Kenyans aged 18 and above were interviewed in the survey across eight regions. The study also found out that 16 per cent blamed poor road conditions for road accidents, 8 percent attributed them to drivers using mobile phones while driving, 7 per cent blamed careless pedestrians and 4 per cent said corruption where police take bribes instead of arresting traffic offenders.

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