3 January 2018

Kenya: MP Wants Heavy Trucks Diverted From Major Highways

Photo: Daily Nation
Trucks along the Mombasa-Nairobi highway (file photo).

National Assembly Transport Committee chairman David Pkosing has proposed the diversion of heavy trucks from the Nakuru-Eldoret and Kisumu highways as a temporary solution to the high number of road crashes.

The Pokot South MP said the crashes were higher where heavy trucks were involved.

Mr Pkosing proposed that heavy trucks heading to Kisumu take the Molo diversion while those enroute to Eldoret use the Eldama Ravine diversion pending construction of a dual carriage.

"That way we reduce the number of trucks using the dangerous spots on our highways," he said in an interview.

On Sunday, 36 people died after a Nairobi-bound bus collided with a truck at Migaa on the Nakuru-Eldoret highway.

On December 10, 2017, seven musicians perished after their vehicle collided head-on with a truck at Kamara on the same highway.

Two days later, 16 people died in a multiple-vehicle crash at the notorious Sachangwan black spot on the same highway.

BUSES AND TRUCKS

Collisions between buses and trucks have recorded the highest number of fatalities and casualties.

The MP also differed with lawmakers calling for the disbandment of the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) following high rate of accidents that have claimed nearly 350 lives over two months.

Mathira MP Rigathi Gachagua, also a member of the committee, said they will hold discussions on how to curb road accidents, noting that disbandment of NTSA would not be considered.

He noted that country is not facing a challenge in policies and regulation but cited enforcement of these laws as the greatest task.

"The traffic officers have proven that they are incapable of enforcement. They are busy collecting money from drivers on the highways," he said.

He noted that corruption among the NTSA and traffic police officers has made it difficult to tackle the problem.

Mr Pkosing said his committee would fight graft in the transport sector through oversight and streamlined operations and assess materials used to assemble buses, casting doubt on the quality.

"We will also involve manufacturers to check on the quality of buses that we have on the roads. [For example,] in the Migaa accident, the bus was written off," he said.

Kenya

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