Top Stories / National
Thursday, 06 Jul 2017 13:38 EATlmwihaki@kenyafreepress.com
Nairobi is leading with 207 cases of the 548 pedestrians killed in the country as motorists ignore zebra crossings, according to the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA).
As a result NTSA in conjunction with the Nairobi Inspectorate have launched a crackdown on motorists who are fond of ignoring pedestrians using the zebra crossings thus endangering the lives of pedestrians.
“Sometimes vehicles are stopped and you find the driver ignoring and driving through the road. Whoever does not obey any traffic signs commits an offense” said Leonard Katana, Officer Commanding Traffic, Nairobi.
NTSA has partnered with 3M Company to design and direct proper road signs at all areas that are considered pedestrian death spots. “Pedestrians remain the most vulnerable groups of the road users” said Njeri Waithaka, Director, Road Safety NTSA.
According to NTSA for the past 6 months Mombasa Road has recorded 22 deaths being the highest number across all roads in and out of Nairobi. Mostly occurring along Nyayo stadium and Airtel Centre. NTSA has urged the pedestrians to use the designated places.
Yesterday NTSA unveiled new PSV rules that will take effect immediately, which are meant to reduce road fatalities. The new rules are class 2 and 3 category of PSV which have a seating capacity of between 15 to 40 passengers to have a flow of roof distance of not less than 1.7metre, each vehicle having 3 anti-rolls bars in the front, middle and at the back.
All the vehicle seats should have legroom of not less than 660mm should have a parcel shelf for passenger luggage.
NTSA together with Kenya Bureau of Standards are overseeing the implementation of the improved vehicle and the system that is meant to see the old buses phased out over a 7-year period.
Manufacturers will be required to install double panels on the frame to enhance the car’s durability, especially during impact. The old matatu drivers are complaining about the new rules as they will choke their business.
The question is, for how long will poor pedestrians perish due to reckless drivers? We hope the government and the NTSA take these cases seriously and at come up with heavy fines custodial sentences including for reckless drivers as well as those who ignore the pedestrian crossings. NTSA should also impose heavy fines on pedestrians who misuse the zebra crossings.