291boda boda riders have been killed this year in road accidents
Road traffic crashes, injuries and deaths involving motorcycles (boda boda) are on the rise in the country and the numbers are bound to go higher if nothing is done.
Lack of training for the riders, failure to wear helmets and carrying excess passengers are the key contributors to the soaring numbers of accidents caused by boba boda riders.
Most riders lack adequate training not just on safety but on the riding skills as well as majority of them just rely on their friends or relatives for the know-how. The aftermath, is dozens of inexperienced riders on our roads who continue to risk the lives of unsuspecting passengers.
The usage of boda boda has gained massive popularity in the country in the recent years, and especially after the government waived duty on motorcycles below 250cc. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), between 2005 and 2011, motorcycle registration increased by almost 40-fold and in 2011, motorcycles made up 70% of all newly registered vehicles.
According to accident statistics by the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA), 291 riders have died so far this year, compared to 234 who were recorded in the same period last year.
An article in the Daily Nation, today reports that motorbike accidents contribute to the highest numbers of patients admitted in accident wards in the country.
It’s reported that wearing a helmet is the single most effective way of reducing head injuries and fatalities resulting from motorcycle usage as it reduces the risk of road traffic-related head injuries by 70% and deaths by 40%, however usage of helmets in the country continues to be low even after a legislation enforcing wearing of helmets was enacted. Most survivors of boda boda accidents end up with fatal head injuries and broken limbs.
Passengers have also failed to safeguard their own safety as they always collude with the riders to be carried in excess and it’s not surprising to come across a boda boda carrying four passengers plus luggage.
Road accidents are the third leading causes of death and motorists and passengers continue to be the biggest casualties. The government should step up measures to ensure that the fast rising boda boda taxi industry is regulated.