Nairobi News


Government issues 13 measures to curb road carnage as toll soars

The government has issued new measures aimed at curbing increased cases of road traffic accidents in the country.

The measures come following rising cases of road accidents in the country with school-going children accounting for part of the fatalities recorded.

Transport Cabinet Secretary Kipchumba Murkomen on Tuesday, April 9,  issued thirteen road safety measures and detailed a multi-pronged strategy to reduce the number of preventable deaths through road crashes.

Mr Murkomen, who was addressing the media directed the police and the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) to heighten night enforcement and random checks on major highways, especially black spots.

He attributed the rising cases of road accidents to recklessness, including drivers parking vehicles on highways, speeding and vehicles not being fitted with speed limiters.

NTSA was ordered to immediately cease issuance of new PSV operator routes, review all existing routes issued to PSV operators and issue new routes only upon vetting of the operators.

“Issuance of short-term PSV licences has been suspended until reviews of all PSV routes are completed,” the CS ordered.

The CS also announced a mandatory inspection exercise where all institutions and companies will be required to present their vehicles for compliance checks with the relevant speed limiter vendors within 14 days.

Failing to present the vehicles for the inspection, Murkomen adds, will lead to the invalidation of all NTSA-issued licenses.

To ensure the smooth running of the inspection exercise, CS Murkomen instructed NTSA to hasten the process of outsourcing motor vehicle inspection to enhance its capacity to assess the roadworthiness of vehicles countrywide.

Another directive issued by Mr Murkomen, who was accompanied by the Inspector General of Police (IG), Japhet Koome, was school transportation shall be allowed to operate between 6 am and 7 pm.

“All public schools are required to present their vehicles for inspection to assess their mechanical soundness and their speed limiter functionality by May 1, 2024,” he said.

The CS ordered all motorists to comply with the standard maximum speed limit immediately.

He directed law enforcers to ensure speed limiters fitted on PSVs and commercials are functional, and store and transport data to NTSA every 5 minutes.

He further ordered the immediate suspension of speed limiter vendors with low performance in speed management. The vendors were barred from fitting new limiter gadgets until an assessment being conducted by NTSA was completed.

“They, however, will be expected to maintain 100 per cent compliance on vehicles already fitted with their limiters,” he said.

“All PSVs (7 seater and above) and commercial vehicles with tare weight of 3048 and above be presented for compliance checks with the relevant speed limiter vendors within 30 days failure to which all NTSA issued licences will be invalidated.”

Murkomen also ordered NTSA to impound all vehicles operating without licences and charge the owner and driver in line with the Traffic Act.

“All vehicles, including the Noahs and Toyota Wish, will be impounded if found operating without licences,” the CS warned.

He also said driver fatigue was a key cause of road accidents and ordered Saccos and drivers to adhere to the normal driving hours.

“Drivers must adhere to the 8-hour driving hour regulation. Saccos whose drivers, whether they are involved in a crash or not, are found to have been on the road more than the normal hours will have their operator licence and vehicle insurance suspended,” he added.

Excess passengers, drivers and conductors, shall be detained and charged. “We appeal to the Judiciary to mete out the highest possible penalties to traffic offenders including riders, pedestrians, drivers and passengers,” he said.

According to the CS, no Kenyan is forced to board any motor vehicle.

“We force ourselves inside it. All people boarding vehicles overload it voluntarily. Forget the fact that we are saving your life. We shall charge you first so that you know your life is also public property for this country,” the CS warned.

He also directed police to ensure boda boda riders, pillion passengers and pedestrians adhere to the Traffic Act.

Latest data from NTSA reveals that at least 1,213 people have died on the road in the past three months.

Pedestrians account for the largest number of fatalities at 445, followed by motorcyclists at 285 and passengers at 259.

According to the data captured between January 1 and April 3, pillion (motorcycle) passengers came fourth at 103 followed by drivers (99) and pedal cyclists (24).

The deaths are an increase of 5.8 per cent from 1,146 during the same period last year.

Last year, more than 4,300 people were killed in road accidents while the rest – from the 22,885 that were involved in accidents, were left with life-changing injuries.