The Nairobi City Council and Standard Group have launched a road safety campaign to cut the high number of accidents in the streets of Nairobi.
The campaign, Road Safety for Pedestrians and Motorists, seeks to sensitise drivers and pedestrians on safe use of city roads. It will run for the next three months.
Estimates show that at least two accidents happen on Nairobi’s Mombasa Road daily. Other busy streets also record tragic fatalities regularly.
“The high rate of accidents witnessed on our roads and the level of traffic congestion in the city is alarming,” said Town Clerk Philip Kisia, yesterday.
He spoke while launching the campaign at Muthurwa. Mayor George Aladwa, Standard Group Chief Operating Officer Sarvjeet Channa, and Standard Group Chief Editor John Bundotich attended the launch.
Kisia said 85 per cent of accidents on city roads were preventable, adding people flouting traffic rules were to blame for what he termed a sad state of affairs.
“I particularly warn matatu drivers and other motorists against ignoring Zebra crossings, jumping traffic lights, driving on pavements, and footpaths, driving on the wrong side of the road and dropping and picking passengers at undesignated places. The council will use all its machinery to ensure these violations cease,” he said.
He hinted at increasing the amount of fines for traffic offences in the city from the current Sh2,000 to “figures that would deter offenders and make the city safer for residents”.
Mr Channa urged the council to construct more pedestrian bridges to reduce deaths on the roads.
“One place where it is needed urgently is on the South B turn-off on Mombasa Road. We also call upon the council to enforce its by-laws to ensure road safety,” he added.
The Standard Group Chief Operating Officer advised pedestrians to avoid unsafe habits like using mobile phones while crossing streets, saying such simple habits make the difference between life and death.
“Accidents on our roads can be reduced if both drivers and pedestrians use the road carefully and observe rules set out by the Highway Code and by-laws of the NCC,” he said.
The Mayor said lack of safety on city roads has caused untold misery to families and the nation, adding its effect on the economy has been immense and unbearable.
“The solution to this problem lies in preventive action by educating city residents on how to use the roads safely. Residents of Nairobi need to know the use of conveniences like overhead bridges, Zebra crossings, and traffic lights,” he advised.
Aladwa said city by-laws would henceforth be enforced to the letter to save lives and ensure safety of pedestrians and motorists.
Article by By Ally Jamah