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Road deaths in Nairobi down by 118 after erection of barriers

The number of pedestrians killed on Nairobi roads has dropped by 118 this year following the erection of crossing barriers at high-risk areas.

Data from the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) shows that the overall number of pedestrians killed on all Kenyan roads by November 20 dropped by 190, with Nairobi accounting for 62 per cent of the drop.

The barriers put in the separating strip of dual carriage roads have been erected along Mombasa Road, Waiyaki way and North Airport Road, among others.

They funnel pedestrians to footbridges or designated crossing points where marshals assist them to cross safely.

“There is a big drop of about 16 per cent for pedestrian fatalities. This has happened because of the guardrails you have seen,” NTSA director-general Francis Meja said.

HIGH-RISK AREAS

“That is only for about six kilometres. I don’t know what would happen if we covered all the high-risk areas in Nairobi. That number would dramatically change.”

The pedestrian fences are paid for by corporates who benefit by advertising on them for free. Nairobi County has waived the advertisement fees for those who pay for their construction and erection.

“We will be approaching other counties. Mombasa has shown interest; Nakuru and all other major cities to try and minimise the conflict between vehicular traffic and pedestrians on identified high-risk areas,” Mr Meja added.

Pedestrians account for nearly half of those killed on Kenyan roads and the targeted interventions are likely to see a sizable drop in total fatality numbers which average about 3,000 annually.

Most of the pedestrians are hit by speeding motorists especially in highly populated areas such as cities and towns, with Nairobi particularly affected.

PEDESTRIAN DEATHS

Nairobi accounted for 75 per cent of pedestrian deaths in Kenya last year. Statistics show the county had a total of 668 deaths in 2015, majority being pedestrians at 497 deaths.

The NTSA aims to bring down this number to below 30 per cent. The overall number of those who have died on the roads this year has dropped slightly by 1.5 per cent from 2,646 last year to 2,607; a difference of 39.

The gains made in the reduced pedestrian fatalities have been eroded by an increase in the number of those who have died from motorcycle accidents and vehicle passengers. Motorcycle deaths rose by 82 to 636 while the number of passenger fatalities went up by 55 to 628.

“Motorcycle (deaths) are on an increase of about 14.3 per cent which is unfortunate and a sad trend and we shall be putting a lot of our energies to try and address that issue going forward,” Mr Meja said.

He added that they are enhancing their operations across the country as the festive period starts, with all NTSA field officers deployed to roads.