The Star (Nairobi)

Kenya: Make Road Safety Campaign a Priority

Less than an hour into the New Year, 11 Kenyans died in a road accident at the perennial black spot, Salgaa.

The annual ritual where government and other 'stakeholders' engage in exhorting the public to be safe on the road remains just that-- a ritual which motorists, the traveling public and even the traffic police pay mere lip service to.

These campaigns-- Arrive Alive, Toa Sauti etc-- while laudable, fail to address the core issue behind the carnage on our roads.

Laws alone do not make it safe to be on the road. The enhanced traffic laws do not seem to act as a deterrent as the annual accident statistic stay at an average 3,000 mark.

All they seem to have done is to compel drivers--particularly PSV drivers--to try and make more money to meet the higher kickbacks that the traffic police are now demanding for minor infractions of the new laws.

A total rethink of our road safety campaign strategy is needed. This should be an ongoing campaign and not only highlighted during the holiday season or for that matter, every time we have fatalities involving a large number of people.

Road safety is just another issue that any of those aspiring for public office can take up and own as it will definitely resonate with the electorate!

Quote of the day: "Self-education is, I firmly believe, the only kind of education there is." - Isaac Asimov, a Russian born American science-fiction writer and biochemist was born on January 2,1920.

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