A cop-out in Kenya over accident toll

Updated: November 8, 2013

THE argument advanced by senior police officers to the effect that the horrific accidents that keep claiming Kenyan lives happen because the traffic department is inadequately funded will simply not wash.

We do not agree that traffic police officers are unable to do their jobs because they have been denied the wherewithal; that is a simple cop-out.

So far in the past nine months, 2,425 Kenyans have died on the road, which is about 270 casualties every month. This is an extremely high number, and facile arguments about poor funding do not address the real issue.

Granted, the majority of those who died are pedestrians who, too often, cross the road where they shouldn’t. And true, Kenya is grossly under-policed. But what exactly do traffic police need besides their hands, copies of notices to attend court, and a clear detestation of corruption?

Corruption is, and has always been, the main reason traffic police allow defective, overloaded or uninsured vehicles to operate. It is also the reason unqualified drivers are running riot all over our roads and causing horrific crashes.

The way to curb accidents is not to populate every city street and every rural road with officers. The only way is to curb corruption.

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