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Pedestrians hit by cars may be charged with attempted suicide

Pedestrians who survive road accidents risk being charged with attempted suicide.

Speaking in Nairobi during the release of data on road safety, Traffic Police Commandant Charlton Murithi said it is necessary to put in place stiffer penalties to address road carnage.

He said pedestrians continue to be the greatest victims of road accidents even when the government has put in place measures to stop them from being killed.

This comes in the wake of revelations by the National Transport and Safety Authority that the number of people killed in road accidents this year has increased compared with last year.

Between January and April this year, 804 people were killed in road accidents compared to 734 people during the same period in 2014, said head of the safety authority Francis Meja.

He said 344 of those killed were pedestrians who could have survived had they followed traffic rules.

HARSHER SENTENCES

“We are contemplating harsher sentences for pedestrians who cross roads at undesignated places, including charging them with attempted suicide,” Mr Meja said.

Besides pedestrians, he said boda bodas are also notorious for flouting road safety rules.

According to the authority, 60 motorcycle passengers were killed in road accidents between January and April.

The road safety agency has mapped five major roads where pedestrian deaths are common. These are Nairobi’s North Airport Road, Mombasa Road, Thika Road, Waiyaki Way and the Eastern Bypass.

“The major cause of these accidents is speed and inadequate pedestrian facilities,” said Mr Meja, urging private companies to support the agency to reverse the road accidents trend.

Safaricom chief executive Bob Collymore challenged both individuals and organisations to work together in ensuring road safety.

He said his company had hired traffic marshals and installed barriers and a bus stop on Waiyaki Way to curb road accidents.

He urged other companies “to do something especially on the pedestrian black spots.”

“This is not an area that can be left to the government alone,” said Mr Collymore. “We as the private sector must take a proactive approach towards stopping road carnage.”