Nairobi News


Government rakes in over Sh300 million in traffic fines as road accidents soar

The government has collected Sh299,490,400 in court fines and forfeitures in the last two months.

Interior Cabinet Secretary Kuthure Kindiki said on Thursday while responding to Members of the National Assembly’s Committee of Transport’s questions over rising cases of accidents in the country.

According to the CS, between January 1 and February 29, this year, 22,958 drivers were arrested for violating traffic laws with the majority of the drivers being arrested for speeding and drunk driving which have been noted as the two major causes of road traffic crashes in the country.

From the exercise during the same period, Kindiki reported that drunk driving was identified as a cause of road traffic crashes.

By use of breathalyzer, 1,086 drivers were arrested and charged before court for drunk driving in the same period.

The figure coincides with the trend of the increase in accidents in the country, with the period between January and February having recorded the largest deaths yet, compared to the same period last year.

“Between January and February 2024 a total of 1,926 crashes were reported across the country as compared to 1,503 in a similar period in 2023 being a 28 per cent increase,” he said.

Revealing the data, Kindiki added that in the same period, 4,608 victims were involved in accidents out of which 763 were fatalities.

From the data, it was noted that there were 255 deaths from motorcycle-related accidents.

The CS told the committee that there had been an influx of illegal PSVs, whose arrest and prosecution had proved a challenge because of the high threshold of evidence required by the Director of Public Prosecutions.

The latest data from the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) shows that, between January and February 20, 2024, at least 649 people lost their lives across the country.

The statistics are an increase compared to the 623 recorded during the same period in 2023.

In its draft National Road Safety Action Plan 2023-2027, NTSA says a number of national and county government agencies are currently too underfunded to deliver safety-related services.

These include the NTSA, Kenha, the National Police Service and county health authorities.

“The annual socio-economic losses in Kenya as a result of road crashes are estimated at more than Sh450 billion. There is a need to sustainably finance road safety programmes and cost-effective safety investments in Kenya over the next decade,” says the NTSA in the document.

According to the NTSA, many accidents occur on the Northern Corridor, which accounts for a high percentage of fatalities.

“Five roads in Nairobi County, representing two per cent of the road network, account for 36 per cent of all fatal crashes in the country,” said NTSA Director-General George Njao.

The five are Thika Road, Outering Road, the Mombasa-Nairobi highway, Eastern Bypass and Northern Bypass.

The road safety agency says that fatal crashes are highly concentrated in time. Twenty-six per cent of crashes in Nairobi (30 per cent nationally) occur between 7pm and 10pm.

Reacting to the spate of accidents, Transport Cabinet Secretary Kipchumba Murkomen reversed a directive to bar NTSA officers from enforcing road safety rules.

“Having consulted with my Interior and National Coordination colleague, Prof Kithure Kindiki, we are going to establish a mechanism where the previous directive to remove NTSA from enforcement will be vacated and a collaborative regime between NTSA and NPS will be put in place for a more efficient enforcement,” Mr Murkomen said yesterday in a statement.

“You will be seeing a return of the NTSA working with traffic police to enforce traffic safety on our roads as soon as possible.”

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