In Summary
  • The highway is important as it connect Kenya and the landlocked countries of Uganda, Southern Sudan, Rwanda and Burundi.
  • Residents who have witnessed accidents on the highway say one solution would be to construct a dual carriageway.
  • They also note the need to station enough traffic officers at crucial points.
  • The government is currently constructing a dual carriageway to help end the carnage.

The road safety authority and the traffic police department are once again under public scrutiny following a rise in the number of road accidents on Nairobi-Nakuru highway.

The highway is important as it connect Kenya and the landlocked countries of Uganda, Southern Sudan, Rwanda and Burundi.

The increase in the number of crashes has caused uproar, with Kenyans raising concerns about the absence of traffic rules enforcement officers, and questioning the mandate of the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA).

At least 10 people were killed and scores injured on the road between September 1 and 9.

Shockingly, police linked all the accidents to drivers, saying they resulted from cases of recklessness, speeding and overtaking.

IG'S ORDER

This comes days after Inspector-General of Police Hilary Mutyambai ordered removal of checkpoints and roadblocks on major highways in the country.

He also instructed traffic police officers not set up checkpoints and erect road blocks without the permission of regional and formation commanders, and noted that this can only be with sufficient justification.

Mr Mutyambai noted that he had not banned road blocks but that he was simply streamlining traffic management to ensure regional bosses are directly responsible for their areas.

The measures followed numerous complaints by the public about traffic officers who used roadblocks to extort money from motorists.

Salgaa accident

The wreckage of the Western Sacco matatu that was involved in an accident at Salgaa on Nakuru-Eldoret highway, leaving two students dead, February 18, 2019. PHOTO | JOHN NJOROGE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

REACTIONS

Residents who have witnessed accidents on the highway say one solution would be to construct a dual carriageway.

They also note the need to station enough traffic officers at crucial points.

“For the past few days we have not had enough traffic officers on part of the busy highway so drivers have speeded and been careless. The officers would contain this,” said Kinungi resident Charles Waweru.

Reached for a comment. however, Nakuru County Police Commander Stephen Matu said there were enough police checkpoints - at places including Naivasha, Gilgil, Nakuru and Salgaa.

“We have enough traffic roadblocks where they are required. I only urge motorists to exercise caution while using the busy highway. Avoid careless driving to stop the carnage," he said.

"We all have a responsibility to stop accidents. Drivers must stop this madness of overtaking and speeding.”

"DEATH TRAP"

In the most recent accident on September 9, three people died while more than 10 people were seriously wounded when a matatu collided with a mini bus at Marula area.

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