A total of 209 pedestrians have died after being hit by cars along the Thika Super highway a major road in Kenya linking the city of Nairobi to Thika town since 2012.
The grim statistics were released by the Senate committee on transport and infrastructure where it also emerged that 278 others have been injured while crossing at illegal points at the highway. While issuing a statement on the floor of the House Chris Obure (Kisii) said police have arrested and charged 783 people for crossing the high from undesignated areas to date.
Kembi Gitura (Murang’a) who sought the statement however claimed that there was a possibility that the crossing points were unsafe for use during the night and unlit that is why pedestrians could be avoiding them. He also wondered why the government could not consider using plastic roadside barriers to discourage vandalism as metal ones are stolen and sold to scrap metal dealers.
He said this will reduce the vice thereby keeping the roads safe: “The plastic barriers will be useless even if they are vandalised and therefore those targeting them will have no use to them and this will solve the problem of vandalism,” said Gitura. The senator also proposed the introduction of stiffer penalties for offenders to discourage pedestrians from crossing at illegal points.
On his side Kiraitu Murungi (Meru) complained that police were fond of erecting roadblocks at the middle of the highway thereby slowing down traffics. “A superhighway is supposed to reduce traffic jam but when you introduce roadblocks it defeats the very purpose of having a superhighway, there is nowhere in the world where you get police road blocks on the middle of the highway,” said Murungi.
George Khaniri (Vihiga ) asked the government to sensitise the public on how to use the highway so as to reduce accidents. “I have been on the highway severally and so many motorist are misusing it,” said Khaniri .The sentiments were echoed by Gitura who claimed that public service vehicles are fond of blocking the highway thereby making it difficult for other motorist to navigate it as fast as they should.
Obure said it was illegal for police to erect motorists on the middle of highway saying he would communicate the concerns raised by the senators to the ministry concerned.