The question every Kenyan is asking right now is: should the National Transport and Safety Authority be disbanded? Or should its name be changed to National Transport and Disastrous Authority?
Before I start throwing stones, allow me first to outline the main functions of NTSA as clearly outlined in Section Four of the NTSA Act.
Allow me also, before I give reasons as to why this institution should be disbanded, to give you the mandate of this authority.
It seems to be a normal trend on the Kenyan roads when grisly accidents happen and it is no longer news when such are reported. The saddest part of it all is that more and more lives keep on being lost as a result of either careless or drunk driving. This calls for more to be done as quickly as possible, since the many tough laws that are in place that need to be followed by those using these roads keep being assumed, thus leading to innocent lives being lost.
The 2015 road safety performance figures revealed that, the number of fatal road crashes increased by 5.2 percent to stand at a whopping 3057 lives lost on Kenyan roads, compared to 2907 in the previous year.
On the other hand, the World Health Organization (WHO) statistics showed that more than 1.24 million people die on the roads across the globe and in Kenya, an estimated 3000 fatal crashes occur annually. Of these, an average of 40 percent, about 1344, involves pedestrians.
NTSA records showed that private vehicles contributed to the most fatalities in 2015 at 35 percent, followed by commercial vehicles at 25 percent and motorcycles at 20.8 percent.
It looks like the same statistics will continue being reported this year as since the beginning of 2016, a number of grisly accidents have been reported that left people dead and others with serious injuries.
The recent accident occurred just three days ago, on July 1st 2016 that eight nine young people dead and several others injured following a grisly road accident at Sameta area along the Kisii-Kilgoris road on Friday night. Among those who lost their lives were Kenyatta University students. Some other three who were critically injured were rushed to Kisii Level Five Hospital where they were admitted but later on, one of them died too while undergoing treatment.
According to Sameta Administration Police Commandant Robert Mulwa, the eight died on the spot, adding that the accident occurred after the vehicle the passengers were travelling in collided head on with another vehicle when it was trying to overtake a canter lorry.
On the night of June 24th 2016, seven people perished in a grisly accident along the Kisii-Migori Highway, in Oyani area. Twelve others were said to have sustained serious injuries. This accident was reported to have occurred after the driver of the vehicle lost control after hitting a pothole along the highway. Five people died dead on the spot while two others succumbed to injuries while undergoing treatment at Migori Level Four Hospital.
Still on the same line of occurrences, another fatal accident occurred on June 3rd 2016, where at least nine people were confirmed dead, still along the Migori-Kisii highway which involved a sugarcane truck and Otange bus. Over 40 people were left with serious injuries on this accident, with a couple others being left with minor injuries. This accident was reported to be as aa result of over speeding, according to eye witnesses, thus leading to the bus driver losing control when the sugarcane truck appeared.
It being like the order of the day still on the same, a fatal accident occurred on May 21st 2016 along the Mombasa-Malindi highway, leaving a total of seven people dead. The said accident took place near Mavueni trading center, when two matatus collided.
The victims, two women, three men and two children perished at an accident black spot, a few meters away from Mavueni trading center when two 14-seater matatus travelling on the opposite directions collided head on.
In the month of March this year, 12 lives were lost in two different grisly accidents. One was along the Nairobi-Mombasa highway where five people died on the spot while 20 others being left with injuries on an accident that involved a lorry and Chania Bus. It took place at Salama Area when the two vehicles got into a head on collision. The lorry’s driver is believed to have miscalculated the distance when he decided to overtake at a hilly place while the bus was moving at high speed.
On the other side, seven people died on the spot along Nakuru – Eldoret road on the night of March 6, 2016. The tragedy occurred when a truck that was headed to Nakuru lost control, swerving off the road before hitting a 14-seater matatu that was heading to the opposite direction to Eldoret. The incident occurred at Ngata Bridge. According to a witness the truck was speeding when it almost hit a petrol tanker that was headed in the same direction. But the driver swerved off the road when his vehicle met the matatu that had 11 passengers on board.
It is high time that we say no to more accidents where we lose our loved ones. It is a matter of safe driving and proper following of traffic rules. Such incidences can be avoided, only if or driver become disciplined while on the road.
Is the NTSA doing its job? Does the Authority know its role? It seems its current role is only to give statistics on how the accidents are occurring. What are your thoughts about the NTSA? Should it be disbanded?