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Alarm as agency records increase in fatal road crashes

By MACHARIA MWANGI
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More than 2,214 people have lost their lives in road accidents since the beginning of the year, according to the statistics from the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA).

Addressing the media at a Naivasha hotel, on Wednesday, the NTSA director Road Safety, Ms Njeri Waithaka said cases of road accidents had increased by around seven per cent compared to the same period, last year.

MULTIPLE FATALITIES

She said the road safety agency was alarmed by the increase, attributing the high number to various factors, including reckless driving.

“Majority of these clashes occur at night, with multiple fatalities recorded from single accident,” said Ms Waithaka.

She regretted the high number of deaths from single accident, citing the school bus tragedy at Mwingi and the Kimende accident that claimed 12 lives.

The NTSA director said the agency, in partnership with other road safety agencies, were working on a plan to reduce the number of accidents witnessed in the country.

She said the highest number of fatality casualties were motorcyclists and pedestrians.

SALGAA STRETCH

Ms Waithaka told participants the most dangerous road according to the latest data was the Nairobi-Nakuru Highway and the Salgaa stretch.

“However, the entire northern corridor remained one of the riskiest roads in the country,” said Ms Waithaka.

She, at the same time, said a total of 12 Saccos had been suspended with five deregistered for flouting the various traffic regulations.

The NTSA director said the agency had repeatedly engaged with the management of the affected Saccos with little success.

The Association of Matatu operators chairman, Jimal Ibrahim Hassan said the number of Saccos operating in Nairobi stood at 257.

He called on the NTSA to vet all the Saccos to ensure adherence, blaming the congestion in Nairobi to the high number of licensed Saccos.

RELEVANT AGENCIES

“We are ready to work with the relevant agencies to ensure the move to decongest Nairobi city centre is successful,” he said.

He was among the stakeholders attending a three day meeting in Naivasha to deliberate on ways of decongesting Nairobi.



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