Report says 450 people killed in road crashes in Rift Valley

At least 450 lives have been lost in 664 road crashes in the Rift Valley region since January, regional traffic enforcement records show.

According to the statistics obtained from the regional office, a further 813 people were injured in the accidents, 16 of them seriously.

The records cover the period between January and August 2017. In the months of July and August, 112 people died in various crashes.

In an interview with the Nation, Londiani Police Base Commander Jane Bimbin said the causes of crashes in the region were unique to each stretch of road.

“For instance at Jurbat area, between Mau summit and Londiani Junction, poor visibility especially during the rainy season causes road accidents,” she said.

BLACK SPOTS

Ms Bimbin said six accidents had been witnessed at Jurbat area between January and August, with two people dying on the spot, while three people sustained slight injuries.

National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) official from Kericho County, Mr Harrison Mutua while agreeing with her sentiments, said the common causes of the crashes include speeding and lane indiscipline.

“Most of the accidents occur when the drivers overtake on a continuous yellow line while going at a high speed,” he said.

Mr Mutua said the high number of deaths across the Rift Valley region could be attributed to the number of black spots spread across the region.

SENSITISATION

He said the road safety watchdog had embarked on sensitisation to all the drivers in a bid to make the drivers understand the importance of adhering to the traffic rules.

“We have also started an operation where we conduct speed checks and lane discipline checks especially at the black spot areas not just in Rift Valley but across the country,” Mr Mutua said. 

While citing a crash along the Kericho-Nakuru highway that killed the former Nakuru county Athletics Kenya boss Mr Kimutai Ng’etich, Kuresoi South MP Joseph Tonui asked the Kenya Traffic Police and the NTSA to strictly enforce the traffic laws and help avert accidents.

Mr Tonui said the laxity of traffic police and recklessness of the drivers was contributing highly to the loss of Kenyan lives.

“Even though people say accidents cannot be prevented, some of them can be avoided,” Mr Tonui said.

Causes of crashes in the region unique to each road.

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