THE ROAD CARNAGES; UNTIL WHEN SHALL OUR ROADS CONTINUE TO ACT AS DEATH TRAPS CONSIDERING THE FACT THAT WE CURB THEM? By Mungai.

Blame it on the politics of the day especially that pertains to constitution are making other issues to the sidelined hence occo0rded blank coverage and therefore aren’t addressed. Take for instance how devastating that it is roads have started to increase again. It is devastating to note that people are losing their lifes prematurely and daily due to numerous road carnage.

Our roads have turned out to be the number one death traps where so many people’s lifes continues to perish daily. Been a road user you are not guaranteed that you will reach your point of destination.

In the wake of these rising road accidents, in the past 4months more than 1000 people have perished accidents. Each an everyday it is been reported how a certain accident occurred and claimed some lifes and left others seriously injured.

It is a grave situation which underlines how grave rot has infiltrated the transport sector which needs to be addressed and fully implemented of the traffic regulations. And I don’t know why the government is taking long time to act on the recklessness that is putting many lifes at risk.

This portrays inefficiency and corruption on the part of the transport sector players, the relevant ministry under which this docket falls and the traffic policemen who don’t implement the traffic rule.

Most of these road accidents are committed by the public matatu drivers who are branded as reckless, arrogant, careless and who drives dangerously under the influence of alcoholic, illicit brews and drugs.Overspeeeding and overtaking dangerously characterizes their driving. They rule the roads by harassing and intimidating other innocent road users.

And it is a pity that these accidents are claiming productive Kenyans, family breadwinners and loved ones, also as they continue to inflict disabilities in the societies due to amputations. And the funny part of it is that the government is less concerned and it is not pulling the stings or put concerted effort to address this horrible plight which seems to be be getting out of hand.

It seems as if the ministry of transport is sleeping on the job and the traffic police departments who are supposed to implement traffic rules are not up to the task. In 2003 when John Michuki was then the transport minister, he had managed to tame these rogue drivers by introducing traffic rules known as “Michuki rules” which he implemented to the perfection. All the public vehicles were required to be installed with speed governor to check speed limit. Also to be installed were seat belts which the passengers were required to wear and the vehicle had to carry a set capacity of passengers.

But the situation went haywire when the unfortunate happened when the Minister was transferred from the ministry and the incumbent was non-commital.The traffic rules and regulations were buried under and they became history as most matatu drivers return to their older habits. Speed governors were tampered with, safety belts doesn’t work any more and the vehicles do carry excess passengers.

The violation of this traffic rules by this matatu drivers exposes other road users to this untold dangers. The traffic policemen are of no help in our roads as they have been branded as the agents of corruption, these public vehicles are cash cows. Been the ones who0 implement this traffic rules, the traffic policemen always turn a blind eye on violators because on the end of the day they will receive a bribe.

Also, drivers flagged down from contravening traffic rules prefer to part with bribes, sometimes higher than the fine for the offence, rather than face cumbersome court process.

But until when are roads continue to act as our death traps considering the fact that it is something that can be curbed and avoided at all cost?And,why is it the government official will take a bribe knowing too well that he’s putting at risk the lifes of millions of people?

The government should make it their responsibility to introduce training on road safety for all drivers and road users so as to curb road accidents. In addition, appraisals should be carried out on regular basis.

According to traffic commandments, he says that the future, police vehicles will be fitted with digital close circuit television (CCTV) capable of detecting and recording speeds of targeted vehicles on the highway. The gadgets will preserve their images. The details will be downloaded at the commandants office and print outs produced for evidence in court. During the trials, a driver will be convicted in courts on evidence gathered using the technology. The gadgets will play a major role in bringing down accidents because many of them are caused by over speeding.

He further says that the dreaded alcoblow,the gadgets used to detect drunk drivers will be reintroduced on Kenyan roads. Also to be introduced are instant tickets in which errant motorists will pay fins on the spot instead of being dragged to courts. It will also curb bribery because the tickets will have serial numbers and security features.


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