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Road Carnage: Who's to Blame?
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ROAD CARNAGE: WHO’S TO BLAME?
By Mercy Gachengo

The agony brought about by the endless number of road accidents is sickening. Week after week
all we get to hear from our radios or television sets is news of accidents. Death is inevitable but I
believe it should not be caused by someone’s recklessness. Road safety is still not a priority to a
section of Kenyan drivers. According to statisticsi posted on the National Transport and Safety
Authority (NTSA) website the total number of victims in the first three months of 2016 increased
by 1233 from 2699 in 2015 to 3932 in 2016. A survey carried out showed that, road accidents
cost Kenya Sh.300 billion annually. Three thousand is the average number of deaths that occur
annually and I am certain that the number can be greatly reduced only if speed and safety
regulations are followed to the letter. Are the speed regulations adhered to?

The National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) has the following mandate;
 To advise and make recommendations on matters relating to road transport and safety.
 To implement policies relating to road transport and safety
 To plan, manage and regulate the road transport sector in accordance with the provisions
of the Act no. 33, 2012
 To ensure the provision of safe, reliable and efficient road transport service.
Question is, is the authority fulfilling its mandate? NTSA has been hit by some scandals, for
instance in May 2, 2016 it was blamed for issuing fake licenses by the then Traffic Commandant
Jecinta Muthoni. A list over 80 rogue drivers was submitted to NTSA from the Traffic
Commandant Jecinta Muthoni’s office. The Orion Correspondent also got the same reportii from
students in several driving schools that were forced to pay an extra Ksh.2000 to the police officer
examining them and some NTSA officers also colluded in these under dealings.
It is tragic how on September 25th 2016 four people succumbed to death during a crash while 5
others got fatal injuries along Lang’ata Road iii. The bus driver was over speeding and the bus
veered off to the side and over turned. Two of the people who were involved in the accident were
students from Multimedia University. A lady who was heading to meet her son was unfortunate
to meet her demise. The ‘matatu’ that was involved in the accident had been clearediv by the
Motor Vehicle Inspection Directorate in questionable circumstances only two days before the
crash, why was it permitted to ferry passengers whereas the inspector had doubt with the
‘matatu’. The same ‘matatu’ lacked the speed governor seal an indication that it had been
tampered with. Commuters and motorists who use the Ongata Rongai route accused NTSA
officials and traffic police officers of receiving bribes from matatu operators to turn a blind eye
on faulty vehicles.
The Ongata Rongai Sacco had been deregistered due to indiscipline cases and violation of
licensing regulations. This is a clear indication that the Sacco had received warnings from the
NTSA officials. The Sacco as a whole was deregistered hence banned from operating, but
impunity is still looming. There is need for watertight investigations on the Ongata Rongai
Sacco.
I am tired of seeing Public Service Vehicles (PSV) being driven at outrageous speeds,
overlapping and playing music loud enough to damage our eardrums as authorities turn a blind
eye. I am sure I am not on this alone.
i http://www.ntsa.go.ke/index.php?option=com_content&view=featured&Itemid=435
ii http://theorion.co.ke/component/k2/item/4313-driving-schools-expose-police-and-ntsa-bribery-scandal,-69-
drivers-have-license-revoked-the-o-report.html
iii https://tuko.co.ke/206660-rongai-matatu-sacco-big-trouble-matatu-accident-killed-four-people.html
iv Source: mobile.nation.co.ke/news/killer-matatu-was-cleared-despite-safety-issues/1950946-3401974-
ilomi4z/index.html

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