STATEMENT BY HON. KIPCHUMBA MURKOMEN, EGH, CABINET SECRETARY, MINISTRY OF ROADS AND TRANSPORT DURING A JOINT PRESSER ON ROAD SAFETY HELD AT HARAMBEE HOUSE, NAIROBI ON 20TH DECEMBER 2022
- My colleague the Cabinet Secretary for Interior Prof. Kithure Kindiki,
- Principal Secretaries present,
- Members of the Fourth Estate,
Ladies and Gentlemen
As the holiday season begins, motorists will be travelling to various destinations to celebrate the festivities with their families and friends. It is imperative for all road users to observe traffic rules and reduce road carnage which has in the past been rampant during this season.
From the analysis of past reports, a high number of road carnage results from avoidable human factors including driving under the influence of alcohol, speeding, dangerous overtaking, fatigue, and ignoring traffic lights and signs among others.
An analysis by NTSA shows a 3.83% increase in road carnage from January to 15th December this year, with fatalities standing at 4,449 compared to 4,285 during the same period last year.
Of this, 1595 were pedestrians, 1,190 were motorcyclists, 403 were drivers, 793 were passengers, 411 were motorcycle passengers and 57 were pedal cyclists.
The Government has stepped up efforts to reduce this by adopting a multi-pronged strategy that entails public awareness and enforcement. We are working with citizens to promote personal responsibility by encouraging passengers in both private and public vehicles to speak out against reckless driving and other habits that endanger the lives of Kenyans.
As we launch the 2022 December Festivity Enforcement Initiative we take cognisance of the following;
- A high number of road crashes occur at night due to poor visibility. In this regard, we urge motorists especially those driving heavy commercial vehicles and public service vehicles operating at night to implement measures that will enhance visibility. This includes proper positioning of signage like triangles, chevrons, and retro-reflective. Additionally, motor vehicle owners must move with speed to remove stalled vehicles within one hour of an incident, and ensure proper signs are placed at safe distances on the road to warn approaching motorists.
I have instructed Kenya National Highways Authority, (KeNHA), Kenya Urban Roads Authority (KURA) and Kenya Rural Roads Authority (KeRRA) to heighten surveillance on our roads and ensure all stalled vehicles are towed within one hour to enable smooth flow of traffic.
I have further directed KeNHA and KURA to ensure vehicles passing through weighbridges are roadworthy as per the requirements of the Traffic Act. Cases of noncompliance must be reported to law enforcement.
- Motor vehicle owners and PSV operators have often seen the festive season as a time to maximise on profit, occasioning the stretching of operations in total disregard for passenger safety. Drivers have often been overworked and servicing of vehicles overlooked in the name of minimising operational costs.
Private motor vehicle owners, heavy commercial vehicle owners and PSV saccos should ensure drivers are well rested and vehicles well serviced before taking to the roads.
Mental health concerns in the public transport sector must also be taken into consideration. Government health facilities are open to any motorist battling depression, stress, and other mental illnesses.
- I have also directed NTSA to intensify the Usalama Barabarani programme and awareness campaigns to effect positive behaviour change among road users. The Authority is already engaging PSV Saccos on the well-being of drivers and ensure they are sensitised on their role in preventing road carnage. Further, NTSA should issue a road safety compliance checklist for members of the public and PSV sector players to keep them in the know onwhatis expected of them. To this end, I urge members of the public to report incidents of lawlessness and reckless driving to the police through the Hotline 911. Remember, Usalama Barabarani ni jukumu letu sote.Let us all work together to keep our roads safe.
I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Prosperous 2023.