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Road deaths decline as boda bodas adhere to traffic rules

The number of road accidents recorded countrywide have dropped by 7.8 per cent between January and August 2017 compared to the same period in 2016.

This translates to 1,795 people who have died in road carnage from January 2017.

According to a report by St John Ambulance, there is also a decline in the number of boda boda-related deaths, with 438 deaths reported in 2017 compared 474 over the same period in 2016.

According to St John Ambulance Communications Manager Fred Majiwa, part of the decline is attributed to safety awareness and formation of boda boda saccos.

Mr Majiwa pointed out Nakuru as one of the towns where the organisation of riders into saccos seems to be paying off as there is a general decline in the number of fatal crashes.

SACCO LEADERS

“The saccos have trusted leaders who engage stakeholders and well-wishers, including politicians in structured discussions to avoid abuse and infiltration by criminals,” he said.

He noted that some of the organisations have come up with rules to keep off inexperienced riders from the roads.

These rules include ensuring that any operator must produce a valid driving license before joining the rider groups.

“Unlike before when anyone could jump on a motorbike and start doing business, most riders’ groups now have governing rules,” he said.

CHALLENGES

Despite the progress, there are still challenges in some parts of the country where there is little compliance to traffic rules.

Some also ride under the influence of banned substances, endangering their lives as well as those of their unsuspecting passengers.

“The situation seems to be different in remote areas like Salgaa where there is total disregard to the safety rules. Due to reluctance in enforcement of the safety laws, riders oblivious of the dangers carry even up to five passengers without wearing protective helmets,” he said.

He noted that although safety trainings have been organised to promote awareness and curb the dangerous road behaviours, the recklessness is still on the rise in remote areas.

Salgaa is located along the 12-kilometre stretch of the Nakuru-Eldoret highway marked as a notorious black spot which has claimed hundreds of lives over the years.

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