NTSA establishes county safety committee in Makueni

National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) and the Makueni County government have established a County Transport and Safety Committee (CTSC) to help in curbing road carnage.

NTSA Deputy Director Safety,Strategies and County Coordination Dr.Duncan Kibogong said the main function of the CTSC was to oversee management and regulation of the road transport system at the county level with a view of reducing road accidents.

Dr.Kibogong said while launching the CTSC at Wote town the committee will also among other roles,develop and implement county specific road safety strategies to reduce road crashes, injuries and deaths.

The deputy director said road carnage was one of the leading causes of death in Kenya and called for collaborative approach to prevent road accidents.

We need a multi-sectoral approach to prevent road accident deaths and injuries, he said.

Dr.Kibogong said the committee will comprise of the County Executive member in charge of Transport, County Commissioner, County Police Commander, Director of Health, two members appointed by the authority and a representative of the public transport operators.

He noted that Makueni was among five counties that recorded highest number of accidents related deaths in 2017 and disclosed that the CTSC will also be established in other 19 accident prone counties.

Some 148 people died in Makueni due to road accidents while Nairobi recorded the highest number with 414 deaths, followed by Nakuru, Kiambu and Machakos with 276, 238 , and 164 deaths respectively, he said.

He attributed the high number of deaths in the county to the Nairobi-Mombasa highway amid an influx of boda bodas motorbikes.

The deputy director noted that although the motor bikes had eased transport across the country many road accidents-related deaths and injuries involved motorcyclists.

The percentage of fatalities involving motorcycles has risen from 5 percent in 2002 to 24 percent in 2016 and the figures are expected to double by 2030 if proper intervention measures are not put in place, he said.

Speaking at the same event Governor Kivutha Kibwana lauded the move saying road accidents were increasing the burden on the county’s health care system besides causing deaths.

He said his government had established a trauma centre at Makindu hospital to deal with accident victims injured along the highway.

Besides the trauma centre,accident victims put a lot of pressure on our universal healthcare programme because patients are treated for free,and these are resources which could be diverted elsewhere by preventing road carnage, said Kibwana.

On boda boda motor bikes, the governor called for a proper regulation on how they operate.

Although bikes are one of the biggest economies in our country there is need for sensitization on safe driving to reduce road accidents, he added.

Kibwana promised that his government will work in collaboration with NTSA and other government agencies to reduce road fatalities.

Road accidents are among the top 10 killers in the country and must be addressed in a serious way,he said.

Also present was the County Traffic Commander Ezra Ouma who said there was need to create conducive environment for all road users.

Source: Kenya News Agency