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Curb pain, loss in road accidents

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With an estimated 3,000 deaths every year, road accidents pose a heavy burden to the country.

Resources are being diverted from national development to take care of those injured, but worse, since the majority of the victims are from the most productive segment of the population, this menace slows down progress.

Indeed, the problem has been compounded in most towns and even in the rural areas, with the entry of the rogue boda boda transport sub-sector.

Today, almost every hospital reports a huge increase in admissions of accident victims, with the motorbike riders and their passengers taking up more of the bed space that could have gone to patients suffering from acute illnesses.


The latest report by the National Transport and Safety Authority says that road crashes cost the country Sh352 billion or 5.6 per cent of the gross domestic product annually.

This is colossal sum of money that could have improved the lives of Kenyans if used to provide water supply, health facilities and even roads.

The setting up of the NTSA was a response to this colossal wastage so that it could come up with measures to curb the road deaths.

Past surveys have shown that human error plays a significant role in accidents, either through poor judgment by motorists and cyclists or having inexperienced or incompetent people behind the wheel or handlebars.

Speeding and recklessness and drunkenness have also been cited.

But the NTSA report also has named some black spots. Thika Road, Outering Road, Mombasa Road and bypasses in Nairobi as some of the deadliest spots for pedestrians.

The real pain is in the injuries occasioned by this menace, the health burden, disabilities and long term psychological effects, and loss of breadwinners.

The national capacity to curb road accidents must be stepped up.