Road accidents across the country have claimed the lives of 84 people in the first week of 2024. This is based on data from the National Transportation and Safety Authority between January 1 and January 7. The figure is an increase compared to the 72 deaths recorded during the same period in 2023.
Pedestrians lead the way in deaths (31), compared to 28 recorded last year. Following closely behind are motorcyclists who recorded 23 deaths and marked a slight decrease compared to 24 in 2023.
Drivers are in third place where seven have lost their lives in road accidents. This is an increase compared to six in the same period last year. Rear passengers recorded six deaths compared to seven witnessed last year. This year, only one cyclist died as a result of an accident within the reporting period.
In October 2023, NTSA launched the National Road Safety Action Plan (2023-2027) which aims to reduce deaths and serious injuries by 50 percent in the most vulnerable areas of protest and urban areas. Mohamed Daghar, Secretary General at the National Department of Transport, emphasized the urgent need for coordinated road safety efforts involving national and county governments to enhance safety on Kenyan roads.
“We cannot be losing more than 4000 people every year, which is only part of it. Accidents cause permanent disabilities, we create widows and orphans,” Daghar said.
“We are losing the whole family because the breadwinner is gone. The real consequences of this road safety challenge are not understood.”
Road safety remains an important issue worldwide, with the World Health Organization estimating more than 1.35 million deaths each year from road accidents. That figure makes road accidents the leading cause of death among people aged 5-29, causing a huge social and economic burden on societies worldwide.
NTSA statistics show that road accidents in the country have been increasing since 2008. According to statistics, more than 3,000 people perished on Kenyan roads in 2008 compared to 4,000 in 2009. In 2010, more than 3,000 people died. Since 2010, the number of road deaths has remained at 3,000.
In 2019, deaths were over 3,500, 2020, (4,000), and 2021 (4,500). Deaths fell slightly below 5,000 in 2022. Vulnerable road users, especially pedestrians and motorcyclists, are the most vulnerable. Pedestrian and motorcyclist (and rear) safety is a major and ongoing issue. NTSA says most accidents happen in the North Zone, which causes a high percentage of deaths.