The National Transportation and Safety Authority (NTSA) has launched a road safety programme dubbed “Usalama Barabarani” in Nakuru County.
The programme seeks to curb road carnage along the northern corridor, which covers six counties with the highest rate of fatalities.
The counties include Makueni, Nairobi, Nakuru, Kericho, Kisumu and Kakamega.
NTSA Director-General George Njao said the Sh420 million European Union-funded project will help to create awareness through public education and reduce the number of deaths especially at notorious black spots.
“This programme will run for three consecutive years and we are looking forward to implementing it with a view to enhancing road safety awareness to reduce the number of deaths through accidents,” he said.
Mr Njao noted that through the new road safety programme, NTSA will work closely with the County Transport and Safety Committees to strengthen opportunities and educate members of the public on road safety guidelines and trigger behavioural change that will lead to high levels of compliance.
The programme seeks to create awareness among Kenyans on road safety and trigger behavioural change.
“I believe in team work and, therefore, we shall work with the police, boda-boda riders, matatu operators and the general public to change the mindset of road users instead of making arrests and apportioning blame when we have made less efforts,” he said.
Nakuru County Deputy Governor Dr Eric Korir, who also doubles as the executive for Transport, Infrastructure, Housing, Urban Development and Public Works, applauded the initiative, saying that it will serve as a game-changer regarding road accidents.
“General education plays a vital role in shaping the attitudes and behaviour of the public. We are glad to join this initiative that will ensure that every individual becomes a responsible driver, passenger, pedestrian or cyclist,” Dr Korir said.
He said good road networks with sober-minded users contribute crucially to economic growth and development and bring important social benefits.
“The highest numbers of carnage happen during the festive season and, for the road users, this is an opportunity to develop a more efficient scheme about road usage - a realisation of safer roads and reduction of poverty,” he added.
The NTSA noted that while the boda-boda industry has created thousands of jobs and saved time for most Kenyans, the operators remain the biggest challenge to road safety.
Motorists have also been urged to ensure that they get proper training at registered driving institutions and apply for smart driving licences.
NTSA said it will increase surveillance along the Nairobi-Nakuru-Eldoret highway and attributed the high number of accidents along the stretch to speeding and carelessness by motorists.
The authority has also called for collaboration among all stakeholders to make the programme a success.