Nairobi tops in road fatalities as accidents cost country Ksh 300B annually

Nairobi tops in road fatalities as accidents cost country Ksh 300B annually
Bus loses control and plunges into a ditch along the Narok - Mai Mahiu Road. Photo/File

Nairobi County accounts for 22% of the national fatalities resulting from road accidents. This is according to a report by the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA).

According to NTSA, in the year 2015, a total of 668 deaths were recorded in Nairobi with 497 of these deaths being pedestrians.

Nairobi is closely followed by Nakuru and Kakamega whereas Lamu and Tana River recorded the lowest number of fatalities.

NTSA associated the high number of fatalities in the capital city to the high number of vehicles and pedestrians.

The authority classified the Thika Superhighway, Airport North Road, Thika Road, Eastern Bypass, Jogoo Road and Mombasa Road as high risk roads saying that they account for the highest number of accidents in the city.

The Northern Corridor, which stretches from Mombasa to Malaba and passes through major towns of Mombasa, Nairobi, Nakuru, Eldoret and Busia, accounted for 18% of the total fatalities in 2015, an equivalent of 541 deaths.

Statistics further show that weekends account for the highest number of fatalities with Saturday being the most notorious with a total count of 20.1% in 2015. Sunday follows closely with 18.3% while Friday accounts for 14.6% of the total fatalities.

The high number of accidents over the weekends has been associated with drunk-driving and high rate of movements from one part of the country to the other.

In 2015, a total of 3,057 fatalities were recorded which was a 5.2% increase from the 2,907 fatalities recorded in 2014.

Accidents caused by private cars rose to 35% in 2015 from the recorded 15% in 2014 while those caused by Public Service Vehicles (PSVs) dropped to 20% in 2015 from 42% in 2014.

NTSA further said that the highest numbers of accidents are recorded between 5PM and 10PM and associated this with darkness that reduces visibility on the roads.

The statistics further indicated that persons aged 24 – 44 years fall in the high risk category, something NTSA associates with drunk-driving, speeding and frequent travels.

Fatalities per 100,000 persons rose to 6.4% in 2015 from 6.34% in 2014.

A total of 1,344 pedestrians were killed in accidents in 2015 only, contributing to 44% of all fatalities compared to 46.1% in 2014.

Over the last ten years, fatalities by motorcycles have risen from 34 in 2006 to 607 in 2015, an equivalent of 12.7%.

Road accidents, according to NTSA’s Director General Francis Meja, cost Kenya 5.6% of its economic value (GDP), an equivalent of Ksh 341 billion.

Annually, an estimated 3,000 people die on Kenyan roads while a total of 1.24 million people die from road accidents globally.

To address the high number of road carnage, NTSA says that it has put in place measures to curb speeding and drunk-driving as well as revised the driving schools’ curriculum with the new one taking effect on March 31st this year.

NTSA further says that it has been engaging public transport sector stakeholders in a campaign aimed at restoring sanity on the roads as well as elevating levels of existing traffic rules enforcement.

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