The agency tasked with maintenance of the country’s highways has blamed illegal overtaking – commonly known as “overlapping” among local motorists – and other aspects of reckless driving for accidents captured on CCTV cameras and widely circulated on social media recently.
The Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) also denied reports in the media that the section of Mombasa Road opposite Vision Plaza had huge potholes.
It added that the section was not part of the dual carriageway but on the verge of the road at the end of a deceleration lane to a closed U-turn.
“There is no pothole at that place and the entire Mombasa Road from JKIA to the city,” KeNHA said in a statement. “Signage showing clearly that the U-turn is closed is in place.
READ: KeNHA repairs Killer Pot-hole of Mombasa Road [Videos]
“Overlapping drivers are the culprits in these kinds of accidents, especially if they are at high speeds. They are not able to manoeuvre back into the carriageway safely. They either roll off or cause accidents as they get back into the carriageway.”
KeNHA then warned motorists: “This is illegal under the Traffic Act.”
Nairobi Senator Mike Sonko had, after viewing the clip on Wednesday, given the county government an ultimatum to repair the section of the road.
“I humbly appeal to my brother and friend Governor Dr Evans Kidero to immediately, within the next one hour, send his road maintenance team to fix the deadly pothole, failing which I shall send my Sonko Rescue Team to repair the same,” said Mr Sonko, who is a Nairobi governorship aspirant.
The county government heeded the call and rectified the road on the same day.
KeNHA said it intends to physically close off the redundant acceleration and deceleration lanes through a raised kerb to deter the overtaking but asked motorists to observe traffic rules and take due care while on the road.
Mr Michael Oketch, who sustained multiple fractures on his legs when his car rolled on the spot on the night of Wednesday, May 17, said he thought the road continued after the U-turn.
“If you have never used that road before, you might not know that the tarmac ends,” said Mr Oketch. “If you are driving fast, you will just roll, like I did.”
Another road user complained that the road from Airtel Centre to GM on both sides of the road to and from town, the entry to the Southern Bypass at the DTB Centre corner, at Eka Hotel and entries to and exits from the flyover were not properly done.
By: STELLA CHERONO