Deaths caused by boda bodas on Kenya roads have risen by nearly a third in the past year.
At the same time, pedestrians continue to top road-related deaths.
Lawlessness and drink driving remain the biggest contributors to the road carnage, with data from the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) painting a deadly trend in the boda boda sector.
The statistics released this month indicate that at least 684 people were killed in motorcycle-related accidents, a 27 percent increase over last year’s.
The riders accounted for the most deaths, recording 459 compared with 365 the previous year.
Notably, more than 11 percent of the deaths were reported in Kirinyaga County.
Statistics collected by the Nation show that at least 50 riders have died in the county since January.
Police and locals blame the deaths on drunkenness and speeding miraa transporters.
“Just this week, we have buried three people. Our riders are dying every day on the roads while the authorities just sit and watch,” Mwea Boda Boda Riders Association Chairman Stephen Mururia said.
To tame the trend, local authorities this week cracked down on speeding vehicles on the Embu-Nairobi highway, where most of the crashes have occurred.
“Fatal accidents are reported daily, especially on the Siakago-Kiritiri road. The situation is of grave concern. Those muguka vehicle drivers should be tamed to curb road accidents,” Embu County Traffic Police Boss Francis Kimaru said during a road safety awareness campaign.
He instructed his officers to arrest and charge the drivers.
Passenger deaths also rose, with 225 fatalities recorded, compared with 173 the previous year, a 30 percent increase.
Injuries have also shot up, with serious ones doubling.
In 2018, 408 riders were seriously injured.
The number rose to 812, representing a 99 percent rise.
The number of passengers, with serious injuries rose from 280 to 505, an 80 percent rise.