Road Safety: How Much More Can We Take
Road Safety: How Much More Can We Take

Road Safety: How Much More Can We Take

April 24, 2023

How often do you think about your safety when you enter a matatu, bus, or your own car? Are the vehicles in good condition? Is the driver competent? Are the roads safe to drive on? Can you avoid a crash if needed? What are the post-effects of an accident?

These questions should be on our minds, urging us to take steps to make our cars, roads, drivers, and passengers safer. Unfortunately, we often become complacent, ignorant, and sometimes even reckless. Some of us are downright suicidal; ‘Kamikaze’, as the Japanese would put it.

We drive as if we’re playing Russian Roulette. Drivers keep pulling the same dangerous triggers yet hope not to end up rolling end over end, in a huge fireball, after hitting something they ought to have seen and avoided. Ironical right?

Cheap skate background garages using makeshift solutions are the sole reason car maintenance in the country depreciates by the day.

Are your BMW Z4 brake pads worn out? Use Toyota Axio brakes instead. Even though they can’t handle the extreme stopping power of Bavarian muscle and will disintegrate if you even look at them wrong. You need a coolant top up but are not willing to pay for an approved product? Use a puddle of rain water!

Need new tyres on your car but are not willing to pay Sh.10,000 for each tyre? Go to an ‘akala’ artisan and get him to tattoo your old bald tyres to look factory fresh. Will they actually help with aquaplaning, and have enough rubber to wear out over time? Don’t you worry about that. We are more worried about the police enforcing the law than our own mortality. Sheer hubris!

Speaking of the police in Kenya; Are they actually patrolling the roads, catching reckless drivers, impounding dangerously maintained vehicles, and ensuring order on our roads? If you think they are, you probably don’t have a license yet or work for the government, which claims our roads are up to modern standards, capable of handling high-powered vehicles.

Road safety is a crucial issue that deserves serious attention. The longer we ignore it, the more accidents like the recent one involving the Pwani University bus and a 14-seater matatu, that led to the loss of 17 lives,10 of whom were students, will occur. Brake failure on a modern bus should never happen.

Our cars should meet higher safety standard, certified as 100% roadworthy. Our drivers should receive more comprehensive training beyond a one-month driving course, including learning how to handle emergencies. Our police should NOT substitute a few hundred shillings for the lives of passengers, but instead be strict enforcers of the law. If a car looks and sounds unsafe, it is unsafe.

Furthermore, the government should build roads with ample runoff areas for vehicles to safely avoid crashes. More street lights, road markings, bus stops, lane exits, traffic lights, roundabouts, and functional cameras should be installed to make our roads safer.

We need to cultivate a road safety culture in our country to prevent unnecessary loss of lives. In 2022 alone, according to NTSA, 4,690 lives were lost.

It’s about time we took our road safety seriously.


By Antony Madilschy, Content Creator – CARS360


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