In 2016, many Kenyans lost their lives in road accidents. Sadly many don’t remember that and it has become a statistic.
So what must be done to enhance road safety in Kenya?
- Road construction calls for rethinking. Many roads are narrow, not taking into account the exponential growth in vehicular traffic. Statistics indicate a greater percentage of accidents are head – on – collisions. While dual carriageways do not necessarily stop accidents, often, the frequency is spaced out and in any case, fewer deaths have been reported.
- Road signs are another problem, yet not necessarily a mark of government’s failing. Poverty has lead people in some areas to view road signage as a source of scrap metal, pulling them down almost as soon as they are erected.
- This call for all parties: government, citizens and stakeholders to exercise individual responsibility in ensuring road signage is not destroyed. Signage could save lives by warning motorists of impending dangers.
- Watching Speed limits. The speed limits in Kenya are 50 km/h in town and 110 km/h outside of towns and cities. One needs to adjust the speed for the road conditions and the type of care one is losing. With the help of speed limiters this can be dealt with.
- Observing rules of the road is another area to promote road safety in Kenya. Drivers in Kenya must obey the rules on the road such as:
- You must give way to people ascending a hill
- All cars must have fire extinguishers
- It is wrong to leave your car unattended with the engine running
- Be aware that a large number of animals use the road in Kenya
- Checking the use of mobile phones when driving: You are not allowed to use mobile phones whilst driving unless with a hands-free kit and devices which are likely to distract the driver are not used by passengers.
- Seat with seatbelts. It is a legal requirement for all drivers and passengers to wear one and given the safety record of Kenyan drivers. This is recommended for road safety in Kenya.
- Drinking and driving: For all drivers the legal maximum of alcohol in the blood is 80mg per 100ml of blood. Above this and you will be taken to a police station and charged for a fine.
- Drugs and driving: Always read the label on drugs and medications before you take them as some can make you drowsy. Avoid drugs which can cause drowsiness. Ask the doctor, pharmacist or druggist the effects of the medication on driving before you take it.
- Health and driving. Driving on the road requires good physical and mental health. If you are not well, do not drive. Ailments such as stiff neck, cough or injury in the leg can affect you.
- It is not advisable to drive if you are suffering from uncontrolled epilepsy, or uncontrolled diabetes mellitus.
- Emotions and driving. When you are angry, upset or emotionally disturbed, do not drive. Anger can cause you to make mistakes. Over-excitement can make you lose concentration on the road.
What are your requirements to enhance road safety in Kenya? Share your comments below!
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