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More passengers dying on the roads than last year, report

The number of passengers who have died in road accidents this year is higher than those reported in 2016, a new report shows.

An updated report by the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) shows a total of 286 deaths between January and May 16, 2017, compared to 256 deaths during the same period last year.

The 11.7 per cent increase comes at a time when the agency has seemingly been forced to go back to the drawing board, after a Court of Appeal ruling which termed the use of a breathalyser as being inconsistent with the Traffic Act.

The agency vowed to file a suit to challenge the ruling.

The report further shows that most road crashes occur between 5.30 pm and 8.30 pm. This could be attributed to the high vehicle traffic at this time of the night.

Most accidents were recorded on Friday, Saturday and Sunday with 17 per cent, 16 per cent and 16 per cent respectively, highlighting days most Kenyans travel to weekend destinations and back.

Monday and Thursday saw the least road crashes at 12 per cent, the Nakuru NTSA regional manager Aden Miller said at a road safety awareness event at Midlands Hotel in Nakuru. The event was organised by Toyota Kenya.

SPEEDING

Human error contributes to more than 80 per cent of road crashes with 20 per cent shared by, among others, the mechanical condition of the vehicle and road condition, according to the report.

Key human factors include excessive speed, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs and reckless driving.

Two weeks ago, an accident at Mbaruk on the Nairobi-Nakuru highway, which killed 18 people, was attributed to reckless driving and excessive speed.

According to the report, persons aged between 25 and 34 record the highest number of fatalities in comparison with persons aged 75 to 90.

The 25 to 34 age group consists of people who mostly own private cars and tend to travel a lot. Privately owned vehicles contribute the most to road accidents at 28 per cent compared to public service and commercial vehicles at 22 per cent each.

The least contributor is government owned vehicles at 1 per cent.

Nairobi County leads the pack with the highest number of road deaths followed closely by Nakuru, Kiambu and Machakos counties. Wajir and Tharaka-Nithi counties contribute the least number of fatalities, the report says.