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Accidents killed fewer Kenyans in 2023 – CS Murkomen

By Hilary Kimuyu December 19th, 2023 2 min read

Fewer Kenyans have died in road accidents this year compared to 2022, statistics from the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) show.

A closer look at the traffic data as of December 7, 2023, shows that the number of deaths has dropped compared to the same period in 2022.

Speaking at the launch of the Usalama Barabarani festive season campaign at Nairobi’s railway terminus on Monday, Transport and Roads Cabinet Secretary Kipchumba Murkomen said the government had worked together over the past year to reduce road deaths.

“I am happy that our hard work and concerted efforts have yielded results,” he said.

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He revealed that between January 1 and December 7, 2023, 3,999 lives were lost as a result of road accidents, compared to 4,352 lives lost during the same period last year. This represents a reduction of 8.11%.

“This is not something to celebrate. Even one life lost is one too many. These are not just statistics. These are our loved ones, our friends and our fellow citizens. And all lives are precious. As a Ministry, we will continue to work to drastically reduce the number of fatalities on our roads,” said Mr Murkomen.

“We are aware that while the number of deaths is decreasing, the number of injured is increasing”.

According to the latest statistics, there has been a significant reduction in fatalities for all road user groups this year compared to the same period last year, with the exception of pedal cyclists.

The increase in pedal cyclist deaths was attributed to speeding vehicles, dangerous riding, unsafe lane changing, distracted riding, and lack of non-motorised transport (NMT) facilities.

Other attributes include the use of mobile phones and other forms of distraction by both motorists and cyclists, failure to wear reflective jackets, and the use of NMT facilities intended for cyclists by other road users.

The CS said that to further bring sanity to our roads, the government has published Kenya’s Highway Code and Drivers’ Handbooks.

“Driving on our roads, I am saddened to note that most of our motorists are either unaware of the risks associated with reckless driving or deliberately engage in bad practices that endanger their own lives and those of other road users,” he said.

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He said the majority of road deaths and injuries are preventable if road users play their part.

He called on all Kenyans to take personal responsibility for the choices they make on the roads.

“Minimise the motivation behind risky road behaviour. People speed for reasons such as being in a hurry and being late, which indicate poor journey planning and time management,” he said.

The CS went on to say that the Highway Code provides rules and guidelines on how to use the road.

“All road users – pedestrians, cyclists and motorists – have a right to use the road, but they should always act responsibly to ensure the safety of all. Basic guidelines are given on how to drive, reverse, cross the road as a pedestrian, obey traffic lights and so on.”

According to the World Health Organization’s Global Status Report on Road Safety, between 3,000 and 13,000 Kenyans lose their lives in road traffic crashes every year.

The majority of these people are vulnerable road users – pedestrians, motorcyclists, and cyclists. In addition, almost a third of deaths are passengers – many of whom die on unsafe public transport.