Transport top brass appear before PCT on rising road carnage
07 October 2013, 21:42
Nairobi - Principles in the Ministry of Transport and the National Transport Authority (NTA) heads appeared before the Parliamentary Committee on Transport (PCT) to seek solution on the ever rising road accidents.
Responding to road carnage issue raised by the Committee members, Eng. Michal Kamau, Cabinet Secretary Ministry of Transport said they are working hand in hand with the NTA through formulation of road safety regulations to curb road accidents.
"Over-speeding and drunk-driving is the main cause of the escalating annual road accidents. I can assure that the ministry is working with NTA on traffic rules and formulation of laws to fight road carnage," said Kamau.
"Losing over 3,000 lives in road accidents by October is a serious issue that calls for radical change in the transport sector especially sacking under-performing and corrupt officers," he added.
Kamau warned that the transport sector does not require middlemen in the name of inspection officers who only collect money but does have a problem with the risky standards of vehicles used by passengers.
"Out of 2425 people who have died in road accidents as per Oct, 2013, 218 were drivers, 240 motor cyclists, 108 peddle cyclists, 613 pedestrians and 120 period passengers," explained Kamau.
To reduce the accidents, Kamau said that drivers should be well-equipped with road safety regulations and acquire better driving skills.
Lee Kinyanjui, the NTA Chairman said the transport sector faces a lot of challenges including inadequate facilitation of road safety equipment such as vehicles for inspection; poor infrastructure, inadequate government funding, and vandalizing of road equipment.
"It is wanting to note that the Western province has no single traffic vehicle for road inspection centre while Rift Valley has only two. This makes it difficult to monitor the cases of road carnage as a result of inadequate provision of equipment in the sector," reiterated Kinyanjui.
Kinyanjui said NTA is initiating laws to improve on driving curricular and driver testing whereby on will be required to meet a minimum of 22 hours driving testing; restriction on licensing to avoid any duplication or forgery, reduction of corruption, and ensuring the manufacture of high standard public vehicles especially on the shells of the car.
"NTA is initiating a policy that manufacturers will have to meet in making vehicle body to regulated the roof breakage of vehicles involved in accidents contributing to massive deaths," said Kinyanjui.
He added that NTA will ensure roads are well designed, equipped with the necessary traffic signs and equipment including flyovers, foot bridges, bumps where needed and road markings.
Kinyanjui further said the NTA will be conducting public awareness campaigns on road safety and proper usage to reduce road carnage.
The NTA law will also allow commuters in urban centers to stand in vehicles when all seats are occupied at peak hours to reach their destinations on time without harassment from traffic officers.
From the annual road accident records, it was noted that 2425 deaths have been reported as per October 2013,higher than 2012 which was 2399 at same period and almost reaching 2516 reported in 2011.
The Parliamentary Committee on Transport is chaired by Hon.Maina Kamanda, Starehe MP.
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