The Star (Nairobi)

4 January 2013

Kenya: Police Move to Curb Carnage On Eldoret-Nakuru Highway

More traffic police were yesterday deployed on the Eldoret-Nakuru highway to help curb road accidents. Some 35 people have lost their lives on the road in the past two days.

Rift Valley police boss John M'mbijiwe said the rate of the accidents is alarming and officers found condoning traffic offenses will be punished.

He said all vehicles and drivers on the route including long-distance lorries will undergo inspection to ensure they comply with the new traffic rules.

M'mbijiwe cautioned drivers to avoid speeding which is the main cause of accidents on the highway. "We have new traffic regulations and we will no longer allow drivers, vehicle owners or members of the public to defy them," he said.

M'mbijiwe said the vehicle which plunged in a quarry near Molo killing more than 20 people was overloaded and traffic police should not have allowed it to ply the route.

He warned that vehicles not fitted with speed governors will be removed from the roads. Drivers will be inspected to ensure that they qualified to handle public service vehicles.

"Passengers have to use seat belts and pedestrians will also have to comply with regulations to eliminate these accidents," M'mbijiwe told the Star on the phone yesterday.

He said blackspots have been clearly marked including areas near the notorious Salgaa and asked drivers to be keen on the route.

Police have directed long-distance drivers to avoid speeding and packing carelessly because they were to blame for more than 60 per cent of road accidents.

They will not be allowed to operate in the night. Heavy rains have caused poor visibility on parts of the roads and M'mbijiwe said drivers found drunk while on duty will be prosecuted.

Police were yesterday more strict on the route as many people were travelling back to their work stations after the festivities. Boda boda operators have been warned to obey the traffic laws too or be punished.

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