NTSA, KeNHA swing into action after deadly Salgaa crash

Saturday December 16 2017

KeNHA

KeNHA workers erect bumps at the Sachangwan blackspot along Nakuru-Eldoret highway on December 15, 2017. KeNHA and NTSA have swung into following recent fatal crashes. PHOTO | AYUB MUIYURO | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By JOSEPH OPENDA
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By PETER MBURU
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The loss of more than twenty lives within 72 hours due to road crash along the Salgaa-Kamara stretch along the Nakuru-Eldoret highway in Nakuru has pushed government authorities to swing into action in a bid to bring back sanity on the roads.

The National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) and the Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) have now embarked on a mission to improve the safety of the roads in a move seen as an effort to reduce the recent rise in road carnage.

On Friday KeNHA, who were the first to act, begun by erecting bumps along the stretch popularly known as the Salgaa blackspot.

This followed a directive by Infrastructure Principal Secretary John Mosonik to have the bumps erected as a short term measure to curb the menace.

SACHANGWAN

The PS, who was speaking at the Sachangwan blackspot where a deadly road crash claimed seventeen lives, said the bumps are meant to help reduce the speed by drivers who use the road.

People living along the stretch praised the move but termed it a temporary solution to the road carnage menace.

They insisted that the only solution will be creating a dual carriageway.

“The bumps will help in preventing the accidents; even the drivers are happy with these bumps being created since they will [control] vehicles’ speed,” Mr Simon Ngugi, a resident observed.

The construction work led to the closure of the road with motorists being advised to use alternative routes.

NTSA Thika Road crackdown

Police arrest a passenger who attempted to escape after he was caught flouting traffic rules along Thika Road during a crackdown by NTSA officers on December 9, 2017. PHOTO | MARY WAMBUI | NATION MEDIA GROUP

NTSA CRACKDOWN

NTSA on the other hand has resorted to conducting crackdowns on rogue drivers along the Nairobi-Nakuru-Eldoret highway.

On Saturday, the authority’s officers impounded more than 30 vehicles which failed to observe traffic rules.

These included the unlicensed public service vehicles, private vehicles operating as PSVs and trucks.

This was after the officials set a road block in Gilgil where they conducted random checks on the suspected vehicles.

NTSA’s deputy director and head of enforcement, Mr Harred Adan, said the move was part of Operation Safiri Salama which was launched a week ago.

“We have apprehended over 15 trucks which had problems with brake systems and over 15 illegal PSVs,” said Mr Adan.

PASSENGERS STRANDED

The operation led to disappointments to many passengers who had boarded unlicensed vehicles as they were left on their own.

However, the officials insisted that the operation would continue until sanity among road users is brought back, saying it is the only way to do away with road crashes.

The authority has promised to work with county governments so as to deny illegal PSVs parking bays in various towns, saying they are the cause of traffic indiscipline.

“In the first place they bring unhealthy competition to genuine PSVs besides the fact that they lead in speeding on the roads and end up causing accidents,” Mr Aden said.

On December 9, seven musicians perished at Kamara when a Toyota Probox car they were travelling in collided head on with a truck.

Later, 17 people died at Sachangwan, along the same stretch, when 13 vehicles were involved in a horrible crash.