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NTSA marks World Day of Remembrance for road traffic victims

Speeding has been mentioned as the leading cause of death and injuries globally as road experts push to reduce road crashes by 50 percent by the year 2030.

Reports by the national Transport and safety Authority (NTSA) and the Kenya Police show that about 4,000 Kenyans lose their lives through road crashes annually with the numbers increasing by about 5 percent in 2022.

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Speaking in Mombasa during the World Day of Remembrance for road traffic victims, NTSA deputy regional director for the coast region John Pateroi said that it is important for drivers to observe speed limits as he attributed to human failure for most of the road crashes witnessed in the country.

“We are here to here to push for zero road crashes because 90 percent of crashes are caused by human error, mechanical error is very minimal contributing less than 10 percent,” said Pateroi.

“It’s important we become cautious on the road, observe speed limits and consider other users of the road especially pedestrians and ensure vehicles are well maintained and well serviced to be on the road,” he added.

The World day of remembrance for road traffic victims is commemorated on the third Sunday of November every year.

It is a global event to remember the many millions who have been killed and seriously injured on the world’s roads and to acknowledge the suffering of all affected victims, families and communities.

About 1.2 million people lose their lives to road carnage across the world with millions others left with life-threatening injuries.

Pateroi said that NTSA is now working closely with the County government of Mombasa on initiatives to come up with transport systems that will separate pedestrians from vehicles in order to take care of non-motorized vehicles.

He said that agencies working on roads are now keen to separate pedestrians from vehicles as they do roads.

“We have realized several challenges with our roads one being engineering which we are keen to look at so that we separate pedestrians from vehicles. We are working with agencies like KENHA so that we construct roads to ensure we separate pedestrians from vehicles,” he said.

Mombasa county chief officer in the department of transport and infrastructure engineer Albert Keino  said that the county was committed to ensuring that the most vulnerable road users are protected through enforcement measures and designs to ensures people are safe.

Keino said that the county has partnered with the Bloomberg Initiative for Global Road Safety to redesign the streets of Mombasa to ensure that pedestrians and all other road users are safe.

Bloomberg Initiative for Global Road Safety is a multi-country programme that aims to reduce road crash fatalities and injuries and is supported by Bloomberg Philanthropists.

“We acknowledge that sustainable cities are for people to live in that is why we are trying to reclaim the streets to be safe areas for people to live. The streets are for everybody not only for cars,” said Keino.

The county and Bloomberg are expected to launch a road safety report on November 28 that is expected to mitigate challenges of road safety faced on the roads in Mombasa.

Kevin ismail the communications coordinator for Bloomberg initiative for global road safety said that they have been offering technical support to the county as they push for safer roads.

The support has been inform of surveillance, enforcement and communication and rolling out mass media campaigns on road safety outlining speeding as a major factor.

“We try to promote road safety in city and make the public understand that speeding is a major risk of road crashes. We plan to roll out mass media campaigns on speeding as a major risk factor because we want to achieve safer streets in Mombasa,” said ismail.

Ruth Machocho a survivor of a road crash urged motorists to be careful on the road as she warned against drink-driving and speeding.

Ruth lost her left foot early this year after a speeding car veered off the road and knocked pedestrians leaving one dead and several injured.

“It just happened so quick, I was having a chat with a bodaboda guy then I heard a loud bang. The person who was standing next to me died on the spot as we were rushed to the hospital.

“That is when my left foot had to be amputated from the knee down,” she said.

She however remains hopeful that she will walk again using prosthesis.

Ruth said that life has changed as she continues healing the healing process and coming to terms with the changes in her life.

“Life has changed, but I am moving on with the healing process. it’s a journey and a half that needs lots of courage and faith believing you will be able to walk again yet you were born normal,” she said.

Haniel Mengistu
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