Traffic lights were Wednesday installed in Kisumu for the first time in upgrades aimed at controlling traffic at a number of intersections and pedestrian crossings.
The Kenya National Highways Authority (Kenha) started installing the lights in three key junctions along the Kisumu-Kakamega highway following roads upgrade and increased traffic flow with the onset of devolution.
Kenha director general Peter Mundinia on Wednesday said the construction of the four-lane highway linking Nairobi-Kisumu road and the Kakamega route has informed the need for traffic lights to boost pedestrian safety and traffic flow
“There are pedestrians as well as vehicles crossing junctions so the lights are meant to ensure infrastructure is more efficient,” Mr Mundinia said.
The traffic lights are being installed 18 years since the lakeside town was declared a city by former President Daniel arap Moi.
Mr Mundinia said NAS International company has been sub-contracted to install the traffic lights by the SBI International Holdings constructing the Kisumu-Nyang’ori dual carriage way.
NAS International chief executive officer Nicholas Airo said the traffic lights will secure traffic flow in the city.
The installations will be done at three main junctions including Kisumu Boys round-about, Patels and Kondele roundabouts, Mr Airo said.
“We have started installation works at Patels and will move to the three main junctions,” Mr Airo said.
Schools and members of the public will be educated while all transport stakeholders will be engaged in a sensitisation to ensure the roads and the lights are used as intended.
“We know drivers have already been trained in approved training schools and are conversant with traffic rules but since this is the first time we are putting up these signal lights, it is vital to sensitise them afresh,” added Mr Airo.
Kenya has heightened road safety programmes to reduce the number of road deaths that last year rose to 2,335 while accidents went up 10 percent.
Motorists are increasingly ignoring road signs and traffic lights, resorting to hand signals, raising the need for continual training of drivers.