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Road carnage claims three lives every day

An average of three Nairobians are killed in road accidents daily, adding up to well over 1,000 in a year.

Most the victims were pedestrians who did not use footbridges or paths while crossing high-speed highways such as Thika Superhighway and Mombasa Road, said Road Safety task force chairman Ronald Musengi.

“There is an established trend where pedestrians do not use road sections set aside for them, instead competing with vehicles for space. Most of them have died due to this habit,” Mr Musengi, who is also a police commissioner attached to the National Police Service Commission, said.

He was speaking on Wednesday after meeting Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero at City Hall to discuss possible ways of decongesting traffic in the City’s roads.

Criminal record

At the same time, a lobby formed by Kenyans living in the UK to promote road safety has called on the Roads Ministry to form a drivers’ criminal records bureau to help weed out rogues from the roads.

Kenya Road and Life Safety chief executive officer Mordicks Asimba said the bureau would ensure drivers who caused death on the highways got clearance before they could drive again.

“We need to borrow a leaf from the developed world, from countries such as the United Kingdom. Such a bureau will see to it that no driver maneuvers his or her way to obtain a new driving licence after causing an accident, it easily becomes foolproof when the records are computerised,” Mr Asimba said.

The road safety task force boss admitted the State had a weak legal framework, saying this was responsible for rogue drivers who returned to the highways almost immediately after causing costly accidents.

Vandalism of metal sign posts used in the roads has been a leading cause of accidents, owing to absence of clear signs and guardrails.

To this Mr Musengi said the task force would recommend that they are replaced with   plastic.

Mr Asimba added that the lobby was partnering with driving schools to improve their curriculum by adding safety practices such as those that restored sanity on the UK roads.

“The curriculum being used to train drivers is largely archaic and this should not be the case. Life skills and other best practices need to be infused to make the drivers have more respect for human life,” he said.

The partnership commences on August 20 after an acknowledgement from Roads Cabinet Secretary, Eng Michael Kamau.