Rogue driving schools to blame for rise in road accidents, NTSA says

NTSA lays blame on the rising cases of road accidents on rogue driving school adding that only 20 per cent of boda boda operators in Kenya are competent.

Sunday January 10 2016

Boda boda riders protest along Kimathi Street in Nairobi on November 11, 2015. NTSA chairman Mr Lee Kinyanjui says that rogue driving schools are to blame for the rising cases of road accidents because they issue trainees competency certifications prematurely. PHOTO | EVANS HABIL | NATION MEDIA GROUP. PHOTO | EVANS HABIL | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Boda boda riders protest along Kimathi Street in Nairobi on November 11, 2015. NTSA chairman Mr Lee Kinyanjui says that rogue driving schools are to blame for the rising cases of road accidents because they issue trainees competency certifications prematurely. PHOTO | EVANS HABIL | NATION MEDIA GROUP. PHOTO | EVANS HABIL | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By MAGDALENE WANJA
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Rogue driving schools are to blame for the rising number of road accidents in the country for prematurely recommending their trainees to be issued with driving licences, the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) chairman said on Friday.

NTSA chairman Mr Lee Kinyanjui was speaking at a joint requiem mass for four accident victims at Njoro Park in Nakuru County.

The four included the last two victims from the New Year’s accident that claimed five teenagers’ lives at the Salgaa black spot along the Nakuru-Eldoret highway and two others killed while riding on a motorcycle in Njoro.

Emotions ran high at the service that was attended by hundreds of mourners among them Nakuru Governor Kinuthia Mbugua, his deputy Mr Joseph Ruto, local MP Joseph Kiuna, Nakuru Assembly Speaker Susan Kihika, and Women Representative Mary Mbugua among others.

Mr Kinyanjui lay the blame on the rising cases of road accidents on rogue driving schools adding that only 20 per cent of boda boda operators in Kenya are competent.

“Some driving schools issues licences after only ten classes. Every driver should complete the required 22 classes before they are issued with a licence,” said Mr Kinyanjui.

Mr Kinyanjui said the transport authority will devise a system to ensure that all boda boda operators are trained on traffic and safety rules.

“Head fractures are the most difficult to treat. There are so many accident patients in hospital wards, “he said.

(READ MORE: Danger stalks young, male pedestrians out on the weekend)

RISING DEATH TOLL

NTSA statistics indicate that more than 3,000 Kenyans die every year due to road accidents, with more than 2,000 people having lost their lives last year.

According to the NTSA, boda boda riders are the leading traffic offenders in the country forming the highest number of casualties.

Speaking last year during the World Remembrance Day of road traffic victims, NTSA Deputy Director Duncan Kibogong said Nairobi and Nakuru counties had the most fatal accidents caused by boda boda operators.

The number of motorcycle deaths in Kenya has been increasing in the last 10 years, from as low as 44 in 2005 to the current 391 deaths in 2014, according to data from the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA). This is about an eight-fold increase in deaths resulting from motorcycle crashes.

Meanwhile, the Nakuru County Assembly Speaker Susan Kihika said there was no excuse on why the police officer whose car was used by the teenagers killed in the New Year’s Salgaa accident was still free.

Ms Kihika urged the government to consider constructing a dual carriage way along the Salgaa stretch of the Eldoret-Nakuru highway in order to reduce accidents.

Furthermore, the NTSA chair said the government will construct a modern lorry parking lot to reduce congestion along the busy road, sentiments echoed by the Nakuru Deputy Governor Joseph Ruto.

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