Road safety: Its a cultural problem

Saturday, November 27th, 2021 00:00 |
whenever there’s a debate on who should be where on the road, pedestrians, like cyclists, tend to win the moral war and lose the mortal one. Pick your battles wisely.

By Mayfellow Waithaka

Truth isn’t a fan favourite. In fact, it is an aspect of life that most people avoid.

The truth about why our roads are dangerous is rarely discussed. One faction believes that if matatus were taken off our roads, you’d dramatically reduce the number of accidents on the roads.

Another believes it’s the Probox menace. Then there’s the Subaru branch of the debate – the list goes on.

Most of the above might sound off, but there’s truth in each one, garnished in fallacy.

Each one of us plays a role in road safety, which means the absence of the same is simply a reflection of us, as a society.

  1. Cyclist
    I’m one of them, and I can say our role in road safety is counterproductive. Most cyclists ride as though we are a cycling society – we aren’t. As a result, whenever there’s a debate on who should be where on the road, cyclists tend to win the moral war and lose the mortal one.

Let’s embrace the culture of giving cyclist space, and they can make sure they’re dressed appropriately – to be seen, and get off the road wherever possible.

  1. Pedestrians
    Another moral soldier. Pick your battles wisely.
  2. Motorcyclists
    Height of impunity. The problem is abetted by the next lot.
  3. Traffic officials
    I say officials because not all of them are traffic police. In the CBD, bikes ride in any direction and as a result, accidents are common.

They are comfortable riding on the wrong side of the road, two feet from a city council officer. Now imagine in the rest of the country.

  1. Drivers
    Power without responsibility is a recipe for disaster. Just ask Zimbabwe, or a myriad of Eastern European countries.

Drivers have the safety of being inside a vehicle, often with secondary safety systems. But, they have wanting habits, placing themselves, other drivers and the first three on this list at risk.

The driving culture should accommodate everyone. Patience and discipline should be your guide.

We owe each other. Make that a culture.

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