Almost half of hit-and-run accidents occur in Nairobi
Last year, 32 vehicles involved in hit-and-run accidents were never traced.
And between January 1 and May 28, some 262 pedestrians died as a result of being hit by vehicles, while there were 2,035 injuries, of which 740 were serious.
Statistics from the National Transport and Safety Authority indicate that of the accidents, nearly half occur in Nairobi, with almost a quarter of the drivers who cause them fleeing the scene.
The number of pedestrian deaths between January 1 and May 28, according to Director of Road Safety Matthew Munyao increased from 243 in 2014 to 262 this year.
The pedestrians who were seriously injured as a result of being hit by vehicles has increased to 752 in the first five months of this year.
“Some drivers flee accident scenes and later record statements at police stations, but there are those that never show up completely,” said Mr Munyao.
FEAR OF BEING ATTACKED
Sometimes, drivers flee because they fear being attacked by witnesses or because they do not want to be liable or fear being arrested, according to the NTSA official.
“For the sake of justice, compensation and prosecution, they have to be traced either by number plates taken by witnesses or sometimes, they are caught by security cameras.
“The government recently installed a total of 1,800 security cameras in some sections of the roads and building in Nairobi and they have really helped in recording the number plates of the vehicles involved in the accidents.”
Mr Munyao said the first thing to do when you witness a hit-and-run accident is to take the details of the vehicle: its registration number, colour and the make.
Nairobi Traffic Commandant Edward Mwamburi said at least five vehicles involved in such accidents in Nairobi are never traced.
The drivers of vehicles causing pedestrian accidents are punished depending on the circumstances of the accident.
According to the Traffic Act, a person who causes the death of another by driving recklessly or at a speed or in a dangerous manner is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 10 years.
The court also has powers to cancel any driving licence or a provisional one held by an offender and disqualify the culprit from holding one for three years.
On reckless driving, the law states that an offender is liable on first conviction to a fine not exceeding Sh100,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years.
“For a second or subsequent conviction, the person is liable to a fine not exceeding Sh300,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year.”