19 November 2018

Kenya: Nation Joins Globe in Remembering Road Accident Victims

Photo: Daily Nation
Members of the public at the scene of the accident on Thika Superhighway (file photo).

Kenyans joined the world in remembering victims of road accidents on Sunday.

The day was marked in Sachangwan, on the Nakuru-Eldoret road, where more than 130 people perished when an oil tanker exploded eight years ago.

The day is usually commemorated on the third Sunday of November.

FAMILIES

It was set aside to remember people injured or killed in road accidents, their families and friends.

National Transport Safety Authority officials, stakeholders in the transport industry, relatives and friends of people who lost their lives in road accidents and the public converged on Sachangwan to mark the day.

NEGLIGENCE

NTSA Director-General Francis Meja used the event to emphasise that the crackdown, mainly targeting defective public service vehicles, would go on.

He urged motorists and other road users to observe the Highway Code, adding that licences for rogue drivers could be cancelled and culprits prosecuted.

Mr Meja said many road accidents are caused by negligence by drivers.

FATALITIES

"As the festive season sets in, be prepared for more crackdowns because we do not want to lose more lives," Mr Meja said, adding that drivers should observe speed limits.

He asked passengers to report drivers flouting traffic regulations.

Mr Meja said the Sobea-Mau Summit stretch on the Nakuru-Eldoret road registers the highest number of fatalities every year.

TRUCK DRIVERS

The section begins in Sobea to Salgaa, Migaa, Sachangwan and Mau Summit. It also includes Jolly Farm and Mkinyai.

The government is constructing a dual carriageway at the stretch where truck drivers have been blamed for the many crashes and collisions.

According to NTSA, more than 2,210 people have lost their lives in road accidents this year alone.

MOTORCYCLES

Kenya National Highways Authority South Rift Regional Director Isaiah Onsongo cautioned hawkers against conducting their business on the road.

For his part, KENHA Director-General Peter Mundinia called on every road user to be responsible.

Mr Mundinia added that motorcycles have become major killers on Kenyan roads.

VISIBILITY

"Boda bodas need to be informed that safety starts with them," he said, adding that the agency would erect speed humps and road signs to avert deaths and injuries on roads.

Nakuru Deputy Governor Eric Korir said construction of the dual carriageway would reduce accidents on the notorious stretch.

"Many accidents occur at night. Lighting poles on roads need to be erected to enhance visibility," Dr Korir said.

COMPENSATION

Also present were Rift Valley Traffic Commandant Zero Arome, Nakuru County Commissioner Joshua Nkanatha, County Police Commander Hassan Barua and Molo OCPD Kioko Muinde.

A memorial service for the Sachangwan victims was held at the spot of the tragedy.

Survivors and family members of the fire tragedy victims said they are still pursuing compensation from the government.

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