Monday, October 5, 2009

Runaway accident driver arrested

By NATION Team

The driver of a truck that was involved in an accident in which 14 people were killed on the Kericho-Kisumu road has been arrested.

Kericho police boss Patterson Maelo said the man was likely to be arraigned in court to face charges of causing death through dangerous driving.

On Sunday, 21 people died in road accidents in Kericho and Awendo.

In the first crash, 14 people travelling in a Mololine Prestige Shuttle matatu died on the Kisumu-Kericho road when the matatu collided with a trailer. A boy and a girl who were herding cattle on the roadside were also killed.

In the second one, seven people perished when the matatu they were travelling in rammed a tractor transporting sugar cane at Awendo, Rongo District.

Mr Maelo said after the accident in Kericho, the driver and conductor of the truck fled and were arrested in Kericho Town.

Medical officials at the Kericho hospital said the loader was treated there and discharged while another passenger is still admitted.

Cabinet Minister Dalmas Otieno directed that bumps be erected on the accident prone Rongo-Awendo-Migori road.

Mr Otieno said most matatus did not respect road safety regulations.

Elsewhere, matatu lobby groups asked the National Road Safety Council to launch an aggressive awareness campaign to achieve this.

“Everybody needs to be involved,” said Matatu Owners Association chairman Simon Kimutai.

The accidents come in the wake of a countrywide crackdown on public service vehicles to enforce the so-called “Michuki Rules”.

Road carnage

Matatu Welfare Association chairman Dickson Mbugua said the implementation of the Integrated National Transport Policy would help to reduce road carnage.

The policy recommends the creation of a Directorate of Transport, which would also involve the enhancement of the role of the National Transport Safety Board to manage the industry.

Reported by Geoffrey Rono, John Ngirachu, and Elisha Otieno

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