An assurance on road safety, security apt

Friday, December 20th, 2019 19:23 |
NTSA officers inspect a public service vehicle. Photo/PD/FILE

The Christmas season is here, again. It is a time when most Kenyans who work in major towns travel upcountry or those in upcountry to cities for leisure or socioeconomic purposes. It is simply a busy season.

Consequently, it is during this season that road accidents are highest and a time when good-for-nothing villains reap where they did not sow. 

Therefore, yesterday’s announcement by the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) together with the Inspector General of Police Hillary Mutyambai that more officers have been deployed across the country to ensure smooth travels and ensure law and order is welcome.

The assurance that officers will be on the lookout for traffic law offenders is as timely and critical because the festive season is easily predisposed to an incredible propensity to overindulge, especially in alcoholic beverages, with deadly results that often manifest in horrific, gory accidents.

Yet, all the shenanigans can and must, indeed, be avoided if only sanity can be allowed to prevail both on the roads and in public places.

The tendency by Kenyans to want to do stuff just on Christmas Day creates heavy traffic, especially along the highways.

This gets complicated if there is even a light accident, with impatient motorists creating extra lanes, overlapping and being a general nuisance on the roads.

Kenyans must remember it is crucial to obey traffic laws, be cautious and civil to other road users. The IG warned that those bent on breaking rules will have themselves to blame.

Even those who board public service vehicles as excess passengers will be forced to alight and be prosecuted, along with the PSV crew. That is as it should be.

The recklessness and wanton tendency to throw all caution to the wind must be checked if we want to enjoy the festive season insanity, hence save lives and spare citizens unnecessary suffering. 

This should not be the case. It is possible to have all road users exercising both good sense and caution to stem incidents that add to the grim statistics of fatalities on our roads.

For instance, the National Transport and Safety Authority says 38 per cent of all traffic fatalities are pedestrians.

That is roughly two in every five fatalities. Drivers must be on the lookout for pedestrians who must, on their part, be extra careful while using roads at whatever point.

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