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High alert: Police vow to keep Kenyans safe this festive season

As the festive season and New Year celebrations draws closer the government has intensified security patrols across the country to ensure Kenyans experience a safe festive season.

Nairobi Police boss Adamson Bungei on Monday, December 11, while addressing the media, said all police stations across the country are ready to take up responsibilities.

“We will be well coordinated, our offices will be open to ensure everyone is attended to, in case of a challenge. More personnel have been mobilised for the operations,” he said.

Bungei noted that Kenyans will not experience any challenges, saying that uniformed and plain-clothed police officers will take part in patrols in public spaces such as shopping malls and places of worship.

His comments come hours after Government Spokesperson Isaac Mwaura issued a cautionary advisory to Kenyans intending to travel upcountry for the upcoming festivities.

He urged Kenyans to avoid night travels and unnecessary trips due to the challenges posed by heavy rains which have rendered some roads impassable.

Mwaura stated that weather forecasts indicate the persistence of heavy rains across different regions, heightening the risk of flash floods and reduced visibility on the roads.

He also advised Kenyans to stay updated on weather conditions to ensure a safe journey and that those who want to travel to suspend their travel plans during this period unless necessary.

“When it rains flash floods are still imminent so it may not be very safe to travel. Unless it is extremely necessary, it is advisable that we keep off these roads all together until such a time that are fully restored,” he said.

According to the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) 3,609 people lost their lives in road accidents in 2023.

This number of fatalities covers the months of January to October 2023.

This, however, is a drop in the number of fatalities in the same period last year, which stood at 3,936. This was an 8.31 per cent drop. In 2022, at least 4,690 people lost their lives on Kenyan roads.

The year recorded 21,757 road accident casualties, representing a 5.5 per cent increase from what was reported in 2021.

The number of victims who sustained serious injuries in 2022 was 9,935, while those who sustained slight injuries in 2022 rose by 1,136 to 7,132.

Pedestrians accounted for the highest fatalities at 1,682 while motorcyclists were 1,254.

Drivers were 426, passengers (822), pillion passengers (445) and pedal cyclists (61).

Passenger casualties increased from 7,586 victims in 2021 to 9,161 in 2022, a percentage increase of 20.8.

According to NTSA, leading causes of fatal crashes in 2022 included hit-and-runs, tyre bursts, and vehicles and motorcycles losing control.

Also overtaking improperly and failing to keep the proper lane resulting in head-on collisions were mentioned as causes.