By Winnie Kabintie
Kenyans have taken to social media in the typical fashion to condemn the traffic police and the National Transport and Highway Authority (NTSA) for the horrific bus accident that killed 52 people on Wednesday at Fort Ternan in Kericho.
Road carnage continues to be a major challenge in the country, with statics showing that the situation is only getting worse.
Recent Statistics by NTSA reveal a surge in the high number of road accidents recorded this year compared to the same period last year.
According to NTSA, by August 2017, 1,760 people had died in road accidents compared to 1,859 people recorded within the same period this year.
“In the month of August alone 228 people died in road accidents compared to 122 in the same month last year,” NTSA said.
IMPUNITY ON THE ROAD
Corruption and impunity on the roads have been touted as the biggest contributors to the horrific road accidents on Kenyan roads.
Although the government has put several measures in place to curb road accidents, recent occurrences that continue to leave dozens of people dead and scores injured illustrate that with corruption and the impunity of matatu mafia, these measures will not work.
Again, majority of Kenyans continue feeding these monsters by playing complacent; they do not take action when drivers over speed, they agree to be ferried in excess and they find it convenient when the driver hands over that “something small” to traffic cops, at least they can proceed with their journey.
Kenya loses an average of 3000 lives through road accidents annually, placing it among countries with the highest road carnage globally.
NTSA boss Francis Meja has revealed that the bus that crashed at Fort Ternan killing 50 was not licensed to operate at night. Even more alarming are the accounts from victims revealing that the bus was overloaded with some passengers forced to sit on the aisle of the bus on crates of Soda.
Revelations that go to confirm that even with regulations to curb road accidents, as long as passengers don’t take the personal responsibility for their safety, these will not work.
Instead of condemning drunk driving, which is the leading cause of most accidents recorded over the weekends, Kenyans take to social media to post alerts and warn drunk drivers to avoid certain roads where alco blow police have set base.
The fight against road carnage in Kenya will only take shape once passengers realise that they also have a role to play in guaranteeing their safety on the roads.