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ROAD ACCIDENTS IN EAST AFRICA

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Denzel Musumba

Denzel Musumba

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Pressure is mounting on motorists to play a greater role in road safety. Statistics show that accident injuries are a huge impediment to development. Transport Minister Amos Kimunya said the National Road and Safety Council intends to implement private sector supported road safety programmes, review driving schools training materials and conduct school road safety training for teachers and pupils. The Ministry and other stakeholders in the transport sector, he added, also plan to engage in vigorous road safety campaigns to inject discipline and order on roads. Kimunya signalled the Government intention during the launch of "I am a safe driver’ campaign, a road safety initiative by Total Kenya aimed at sensitising motorists on the need to embrace a culture of safe driving. He lauded the initiative and stated that road safety was a collective responsibility of all and urged for more engagement by other companies in ensuring Kenyan roads are safe. "Road safety is not a preserve of one institution, but requires joint efforts and support from all stakeholders in the transport sector," said Kimunya at the launch that took place at the Limuru Road Total Service Station near Aga Khan Hospital in Nairobi. He called upon other oil marketers to explore ways that could contribute to road safety. The minister noted that discipline was key in enhancing road safety, adding that it was sad for road accidents to be listed together with HIV/Aids and malaria as leading killers in the region. Analysts say though road traffic accidents are known to be a major cause of death and disability throughout the developing world, nowhere is the problem so acute as sub-Saharan Africa. Accident numbers Bad roads, old vehicles and lax regulations are all considered major contributors to Africa’s road fatality and accident numbers, three times as great as the continent’s share of motor vehicles.

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