his time the number was thirty seven
dead (and counting) and many injured.
The reason was an altercation between
a lorry and a bus.
Currently blamed on a mechanical fault
– brake failure.
There were also several other
accidents and almost all were blamed on some fault or other of
the vehicle. None was because of something that the driver did.
This will mark the start of what we
would like to see done in the New Year.
The National Transport Authority or
NTSA as well as the Ministry involved and the enforcement and
compliance authorities as well as the prosecutorial and
judiciary functions should all jump in to solve our driving woes
in this country.
It is not the sole role of the NTSA.
There are a multiple number of
agencies involved in making the changes that are required to
minimise the likelihood of the type of carnage that we have seen
on the roads of Kenya in the month of December.
There is a need to have a single
co-ordinating agency with the powers to call in all the bodies
concerned with road design, use, maintenance and safety as well
as the enforcement of the rules and regulations for road use and
the type of equipment that is allowed on our roads.
All these facets need to be properly
aligned on both short, medium and long term actions that will
bring along lasting behaviour change.
This change is the only thing that can
contribute to sustainable road safety.
I am always impressed by drivers in
the United States who will always stop at any crossing whether
light controlled or not to allow a pedestrian to cross.
Drivers in that country will also stop
at every junction to check for traffic even if it is the middle
of teh countryside and there is clearly no other vehicle in
It is an ingrained habit.
They will also let the first person
who arrives at a junction make the first move and they each take
turns in order of their arrival.
There is no marshal or traffic warden
in attendance at any of these junctions and crossing places yet
Over the next month we will set what
we consider the agenda should be for this year in terms of
starting the change of our driving habits and culture.
The quickest and lowest hanging fruit
is to ruthlessly enforce compliance to the current traffic
All this requires is concerted effort
by all the agencies involved. It is not about road blocks set up
in predictable places in urban areas as well as on trunk and
It is not about enforcers chasing
It is about spending a week stopping
every driver and telling them that they should expect stern
measures for any infringement of driving rules no matter how
This direct contact should be
complemented by both electronic and print media education and
warnings for a period of at least six months.
After the first week, the enforcement
agencies then swing into action both in plain clothes and
uniformed and ruthlessly deal with offenders.
The judiciary will need to set up
special courts to deal with the flood of offenders.
The prosecutorial service will need to
be well equipped as they will also be faced with an avalanche of
Payment methods should be set up that
are simple to use and also difficult to manipulate for personal
Just focussing on enforcing the
existing laws for six months will result in a major change in
the way people behave on the roads.
So, Wakubwa - Boinett, Macharia,
Maraga, Matiangi, Meja, Mucheru and Tobiko - get the troops
under your charge to pursue ruthless enforcement of existing
laws in a coordinated manner.
Ensured that the roads are properly
marked up and that road information is available and visible so
motorists and pedestrians know what they must and must not do.
Get people educated, informed and
aware. After that it is then arrest as necessary, prosecute,
fine or jail and then mark up as offenders in a traceable
As Kachumbari says, Kenyan road users
continue to suffer. Enough is enough.