High toll ushers in road victims day

By: CAROLINE WAFULA

Kenya joins the world in remembering road accident victims on Sunday, as figures show that 2,552 lives have been lost on the roads since January.

The number is expected to rise and surpass the annual average of 3,000 with the December festivities closing in, according to the National Transport Safety Authority.

This comes as five people died on Friday night on a Bomet-Narok highway grisly accident.

A Narobi-bound matatu known as Narok Safaris Sacco and a bus named Quarser Shuttle enroute to Kisii from Nairobi collided at Kipsoen near Longisa trading centre, 15km from Bomet town.

Three people were killed on the spot while two others died while being treated at the Longisa County Referral Hospital.

“The three men and two women were all in the matatu,” Bomet County police service commander Leah Kithei said.

Thirteen other passengers were seriously injured, 10 of whom are in a critical condition.

The safety authority says December has the highest number of accidents due to drink-driving.

The World Day of remembrance for traffic victims is celebrated every third Sunday of November. Globally, 1.2 million lives are lost every year.

Accidents are painful to victims, their families, friends and the country, causing a loss of approximately Sh310 billion a year, translating to five per cent of the Kenya’s gross domestic product.

Mr Samuel Musumba of the transport safety authority said speeding private motorists are the cause of most accidents.

Pedestrians who ignore the simple look left and right rule before crossing roads and using footbridges are also to blame.

Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays are the peak days for accidents. In 2013, accidents killed 3,218 people. Last year 2,907 died.

SOURCE: DAILY NATION