The National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) led Mombasa residents in marking the ‘World Day of Remembrance of Road Crash Victims’ (WDoR) on Sunday November 19, 2023.
In collaboration with other stakeholders, NTSA organized a walk from Marikiti to Mama Ngina Waterfront.
Representing the CECM Roads, Engineer Albert Keno, the chief officer of the Department of Transport and Infrastructure, Mombasa County, flagged off the walk.
A team of staff and students of the Technical University of Mombasa (TUM) also took part in the 8.00 am-10.00 am event that attracted huge public interest along the busy Digo Road and Nyerere Avenue.
Many organizations from within Mombasa were also present including, the Matatu Owners Association, National Police Service, Bloomberg Philanthropies, County Government of Mombasa, Bodaboda Association, Critical Mass Mombasa, Mombasa Walk Movement, KPA, Driving Schools Association, St Johns, and KenHA, among others. The procession chanted slogans for road safety, urging the public to take heed.
The procession aimed to increase road safety awareness within the region.
This year’s theme was ‘Justice’ with the specific objective of remembering all people killed and injured on the roads.
The event emphasized on the importance of constructing and maintaining safe streets and promoting evidence-based actions to prevent more traffic deaths and injuries.
At Mama Ngina waterfront, different stakeholders shared similar risk factors for road crashes such as:
- Drug use
- Human error
- Bad roads
- Fatigue, especially for long-distance drivers
- Lack of use of safety gear such as helmets, reflectors and seat belts
It was also highlighted that speeding is the main cause of road accidents and pedestrians are the most affected.
Speaking to the press, the NTSA deputy regional manager (Coast), Mr John Parteroi shared his message to the public. “ Each individual must be cautious on the road, observe speed limits, consider the pedestrians who share the roads with motorists, and ensure that vehicles are serviced and well-maintained.” Mr John said.
Mr John stated that 90% of road crashes happen due to human error and only 10% are because of mechanical error. He thus urged the public to change road behaviours and be more disciplined.
NTSA is working with the county government of Mombasa on different road safety initiatives such as building walkways to separate pedestrians from vehicles. They are also working with agencies like KenHA to design modern roads. NTSA also educate people on road safety measures by working closely with Public Service vehicles, Saccos and bodabodas.
Engineer Albert Keno affirmed that the County Government of Mombasa takes road safety very seriously. With this effect, in 2022, the county collaborated with Bloomberg Philanthropists, a worldwide road safety initiative, to look for ways to improve road safety in Mombasa. As such, this is going to be the first county in Kenya to produce a road safety report which will be launched on 28th November at English Point Marina.
The report will look into ways to mitigate the challenges faced as a county, through road safety initiatives. Mr Keno shared their goal to come up with road designs that will ensure the safety of vulnerable road users, the pedestrians, and that they are protected through initiatives, measures, enforcement and engineering designs.
The county government has come up with initiatives to build cycling lanes and infrastructure to bring dignity and safety to all. This will also encourage more people to take up cycling which is a healthier alternative; easier, affordable, and environment friendly.
Additionally, to protect children and the sick who are the most vulnerable, the county has identified schools and hospital zones where motorists will be required to lower driving speed from 50 kmh to 30 kmh.
Mr Kevin Ismail, the Communications Coordinator of Bloomberg’s Initiative for Global Road Safety, stated that 1.3 million people die globally from road crashes yearly, and according to NTSA statistics, approximately 4000 people die every year, 40% of them are pedestrians. To reduce these numbers, Bloomberg Philanthropists have also joined hands with NTSA and Mombasa County to offer technical support through reinforcement, surveillance, and rolling out mass media campaigns to sensitise the public on road safety, especially speeding.
Some of the victims of road crashes shared their touching stories, which have scarred them to date, despite the passage of time. Their testimonies reflected on the deep impact of such traumas and reinforced the key objective of this event today; to remember the victims and to ensure other people don't become victims too.
The stakeholders present gave some recommendations for road safety including:
- Having refresher courses for public service drivers.
- Having workshops and seminars on road safety measures.
- Early repair of potholes.
- Bodaboda and Public Service drivers to undergo training before acquiring licenses.
- More collaborations among stakeholders to sensitize the public.
With Christmas fast approaching, general concern was echoed, with many accidents happening during this festive season. Motorists, cyclists and pedestrians alike were urged to stay safe and drive safe.
To wrap up the event, Mr Ali Salim Bates, the National Vice Chairman of Matatu Owners Association gave a vote of thanks to all stakeholders and attendees and gave a short prayer for everyone’s safety.
As the guests departed, a key takeaway lingered: ‘Reduce Speed, Save a Life!’