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We must keep our roads safe this season



Kenyans are all set for the December festivities. Despite the harsh economic times, ceremonies such as weddings, family get-togethers, graduation and birthday parties are in top gear, with the climax being Christmas and New Year celebrations.

People will be travelling upcountry in droves. The transport sector is busiest this month.
Unfortunately, some rogue drivers and transport companies take advantage of the peak demand for their services to convert the season into their cash cow. They blatantly disregard traffic rules and cause a lot of pain.

From carrying excess passengers and drunk driving to speeding and hiking fares, lawlessness reigns supreme as they rush to make a killing. This carefree attitude puts lives at stake and almost always ends in catastrophe. We have witnessed devastating situations where people die as a result of road accidents.

Robust strategies

The buck stops at the authorities, who have a duty to protect Kenyans. Officials of the Transport Ministry, led by Cabinet Secretary Kipchumba Murkomen, must roll out robust strategies to ensure sanity on our roads.

First, they must crack the whip on shameless traffic police officers who solicit bribes and thus abet traffic misconduct that leaves Kenyans at the mercy of rogue transport companies.

Secondly, they must enforce traffic rules to the letter to avert drunk driving, speeding, overloading and hiking of fares.

They must also make sure drivers are not overworked and that they ‘overlap’ on road stops. Traffic patrols should be intensified but bribery and extortion must be checked.
Passengers are also not helpless.

They should speak out against disregard for traffic rules, which puts their lives on the line. We must do everything to ensure road safety this season.

Mr Mwirichia is a high school teacher.

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