• May 19, 2024
  • Last Update May 19, 2024 1:57 PM
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Adhere to ‘Michuki’ safety regulations to curb road carnage

Adhere to ‘Michuki’ safety regulations to curb road carnage


Tuesday, April 16, 2024

KNA by George Agimba

It is disturbing that over 1000 lives have been lost on Kenyans roads only four months into year 2024.

Kenyans fear that the death toll could rise steadily and the country could register a high figure by the end of the year unless efforts are put in place to change this trend.

The government has tried to enforce some areas of the Michuki rules like the compulsory fitting of safety belts and speed governors, a ban on standing passengers on Passenger Service Vehicles, and talking on phone while driving but Kenyans continued to die due to road accidents.

Many people believe that the increased number of fatal accidents largely happens due to human error and carelessness, although most citizens would prefer to put all the blame on the government and its perceived failure to improve roads and strictly enforce traffic laws.

But according to Mr. John Kung’a, a retiree from the Kenya Bus Company, the trouble is, those Kenyans who complained loudest were often the first law-breakers.

“There are those drivers, for example, who always think that they are in a greater hurry than others and overlap on the pavements causing accidents,” said Kung’a, a man who worked as a senior bus inspector at the company for over 30 years.

Now enjoying his senior citizen days in Uriri Constituency, Migori County, he says, efforts to tame road accidents is a responsibility for all the country men and women.

However, Mrs. Pauline Siaji, a uriri resident, put the blame squarely on the Police whom she claimed were sabotaging the government policy to make roads safe by embracing corruption.

“It is the traffic police who are allowing unlicensed vehicles like Pro box and Voxy types of vehicles to operate on our roads as Passenger Service Vehicles leading to the fatal accidents,” she alleged.

“The Kenyan commuters are also to blame for allowing themselves to overload PSV automobiles on the roads and not the Transport Cabinet Secretary (CS) Mr. Kipcumba Murkomen as many point their fingers to,” she observed.

Siaji says the population must realise that there is no way the government could be of help if it remained unruly on matters road traffic.

“There will be hundreds and even thousands of needless fatal accidents if we continue to be indisciplined on our roads,” she warned.

According to the Kenyan Traffic Police records, the primary cause of road accidents is human error at 84 per cent while mechanical factors contribute only 5 per cent of accidents.

Lack of enforcement of regulations contributes about 9 per cent of accidents, while climatic factors account for only 2 per cent.

Among the human errors, one of the most common mistakes is talking on phone while driving. Drivers doing this usually lose concentration, causing accidents that could be avoided.

Overloading is another factor. Some commercial transporters are notorious for this, especially those in the matatu business who want to earn more than they should.

Elsewhere, says a traffic police officer, driving under the influence of alcohol or any other hard drug has become a national pastime, especially during weekends and public holidays.

” A while back, says traffic officer Jane Naliaka, the government tried to curb the practice by introducing the Michuki rules and ‘alcoblow’ machines, but these were withdrawn after some people went to court questioning their legality. Speeding is the other issue in this dilemma that should be addressed. Speed thrills but it also kills, she stressed when KNA interviewed her recently. In order to save Kenyans from needless accidents, the government should implement very strict exhaustive regulations on drivers and if anyone is charged with an offence, they should be liable to very high penalties to be an example to others. Pointing fingers at government and the police every time a fatal accident occurs is self-defeating. Let us first remove the logs in our own eyes,” Naliaka concluded.

Courtesy; KNA

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