The National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) has initiated a nationwide road safety awareness campaign in preparation for the festive season. This effort is being conducted in collaboration with key stakeholders to coincide with the global observation of the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims 2023.
NTSA Director General George Njao emphasized the importance of exercising caution on the roads by adhering to all traffic regulations. This, he says, is crucial in addressing the increasing number of accidents and fatalities on Kenyan roads.
“How many roads are paved in our country? How many people are we losing every other day if we do not continue adjudicating for road safety as required?” he posed.
The theme for this year’s commemoration is “Remember, Support, Act,” honoring lives lost in road traffic crashes, recognizing the dedication of emergency services, and advocating for the promotion of safe roads.
Anthony Omerikwa, CEO of the National Authority for the Campaign Against Alcohol and Drug Abuse (NACADA), highlighted alcohol and drug abuse as significant contributors to road accidents in the country. He urged motorists to refrain from operating vehicles while under the influence.
“Stay away from alcohol and drug use to promote safety on our roads. We shall work closely with NTSA to draw the public’s attention to road crashes, consequences and measures to prevent them,” he said.
During an NTSA sensitization event commemorating the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims on Sunday, survivors of road accidents also recounted their experiences and shared stories of overcoming challenges.
“If you see me standing before you it is a miracle. My hip was completely removed and I survive with an artificial hip. It has taken a lot of time and resources and maybe your family may end up selling everything. The moment you start your ignition, please, your safety starts with you,” said Simon Mwangi a road crash victim.
Ruth Ndungu, a survivor based in Nakuru, appealed to the public to undergo first aid training, enabling them to assist and care for victims in the event of a tragedy.
“The pain is too much. You are working then all of a sudden you cannot and everybody has to take care of you, spending everything that you have just to get well. Do not be in a hurry because you will still arrive,” she said.
Mohamed Daghar, the Permanent Secretary in the state Department of Transport, stressed the need for collaborative road safety initiatives, involving both national and county governments, to improve the safety of Kenyan roads.
“We cannot be losing over 4000 people every year, and that is just part of it. We have people with permanent disabilities, we create widows and orphans. We collapse an entire household because the breadwinner is lost. The net effect of this road safety challenge is beyond understanding,” he noted.