15 December 2017

Kenya: Road Crashes Claim Over 150 in 2 Weeks in Kenya, Report Shows

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Photo: Magdalene Wanja/Daily Nation
Wreckages of matatus that were involved in the crash a the Sachangwan blackspot.

Over 150 people have died in road crashes across Kenya in the past two weeks, according to official statistics.

Initial investigations show that majority of the accidents were caused by speeding, lane indiscipline, reckless driving and driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs.

BLACKSPOTS

A joint statement by the National Police Service, National Transport and Safety Authority and the Kenya National Highways Authority has also identified dangerous road stretches where crashes were likely to occur, and warned motorists to be careful especially during the festive season.

"Particular attention has been given to these hazardous zones spread across the country," the statement released on Thursday says.

They are Salgaa, Sachangwan, Migaa and Soysambu in Nakuru County.

Seventeen people died after a lorry rammed several vehicles at Sachangwan on Nakuru-Eldoret Highway, on December 12.

The other blackspot is at Bonje area in Kilifi County.

STATEMENT

In Taita Taveta County, Manyani is the area to watch when on the road.

Lukenya and Maanzoni in Machakos County are also classified as blackspots.

Others are Kiima Kiu/Salama and Konza (Makueni County), Ntulele and Duka Moja Market centre (Narok County) as well as Kenol to Sagana and Kenol to Murang'a sections in Murang'a and Kirinyaga counties.

Heads of the three state agencies signed the statement.

"In the past few days, we have experienced an increase in the number of fatal accidents. We are alarmed by this rise. Majority of these accidents have been attributed to human error and are preventable if all road users exercise caution," they said.

"We send heartfelt condolences to the families and friends of those who lost their lives and wish quick recovery to the injured."

DUAL CARRIAGE

They also assured that measures are under way to ensure safety at blackspots.

"The stretch between Salgaa and Mau Summit has witnessed a significant number of crashes in the recent past despite a number of interventions undertaken. To enhance road safety along this particular section, the Kenya National Highways Authority is currently undertaking measures," added the statement.

The plan, in the short term, is to "install additional standard humps and rumble strips including road marking and signage."

And next week, the authority plans to tender for construction work on the Kibunja-Salgaa stretch, which shall eventually would be a dual carriage way.

"The works to be carried out shall include construction of emergency runaway, truck rump, construction of lorry brakes temperature checking point and holding yard in Kibunja, construction of dual carriageway at the 10 kilometre climbing lane section, widening of Nyanja/Kamara Bridge, road marking with reflective cat-eyes and signage, as well as repair and installation of guardrails," the stament said.

If all goes as planned, the Nairobi-Nakuru road will become a dual carriage highway.

SPEAK OUT

The authority hopes building the dual carriage will be done under public-private partnership contract.

"The procurement of the contractor consortium is on-going. This will ensure that the entire road capacity and safety is improved," the statement further says.

At the same time, police and NTSA personnel have beefed law enforcement across the country.

"We appeal to all road users to play their rightful role in enhancing road safety by adhering to traffic rules and speak out against reckless road use. Violations and complaints can be channeled to NTSA through 0718555999, National Police Service through Toll free numbers 999/911 or directly to the nearest police officer," the statement adds.

The officials also warned travelling is expected to increase during the festivities and cautioned road users to be extra careful.

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