At least 12 people have died in road crashes over the last two days as this year’s December emerges to be the deadliest in the last four years.
Statistics from the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) and police indicate that between December 1 and December 12, at least 175, including those in the recent Mwingi bus tragedy, have perished.
Over the same period last year, 155 people lost their lives compared to 107 who died in the 12 days in 2019.
More people have also died on the roads so far this year, with NTSA putting the total tally so far at 4,012, compared to 3,663, during the same period last year.
And the statistics are likely to get grimmer as Christmas and New Year travel, including the crash-prone night travel, and festivities set in.
The latest accident, which happened in Roka area along the Kilifi-Mombasa highway on Saturday night, claimed the lives of seven people.
During the 7.30pm accident, two children, three women and two men died after two matatus collided head-on.
Kilifi North Sub-County Police Commander Jonathan Koech said three out of 17 survivors admitted to Kilifi County and Referral Hospital were discharged on Sunday morning.
Kilifi County and Referral Hospital Medical Superintendent Eddy Nzomo said two people are yet to be identified.
“We have two unknown females who are unconscious and whose relatives have not come forward to identify them,” he said.
In Embu, one person died and 13 others were seriously injured when a truck collided head-on with a matatu along the Embu-Makutano road on Saturday night.
Witness said the truck was travelling to Embu from Mwea when the driver lost control and crashed into the Nairobi bound Matatu which had 14 passengers on board.
The occurred near Rubingazi River Bridge, on the border of Embu and Kirinyaga counties, with the casualties remaining trapped in the mangled matatu.
Mwea East Sub-County police boss Daniel Kitavi said the truck driver, who vanished after the crash, will be charged with causing death by careless driving once arrested.
“The driver went into hiding soon after the accident and we are looking for him so that he can be arraigned,” he said.
Other people who died in crashes in several roads in Kenya over the last 48 hours include pedestrians, cyclists and pillion passengers.
Road safety rules
Earlier on December 3 along Valley Road, a police officer was crushed to death by a speeding matatu which veered off the road and hit him.
In Nakuru, a woman and her five-month-old baby died on December 4 when the private vehicle they were travelling in was hit by a lorry.
Administrators, including Rift Valley Regional Coordinator George Natembeya, have called on motorists to observe road safety rules, especially as the festive season sets in.
Mr Natembeya said more traffic police officers would be deployed to man major roads, but cautioned motorists to observe basic traffic rules to avoid loss of lives.
“I urge all motorists and road users to exercise extra vigilance as the festive period sets in. Every life on our roads counts and must be protected at all costs,” said Mr Natembeya.
The administrator noted that the festive season comes with increased number of travelers and public service vehicles take advantage to overload and speed to increase their profits, endangering lives in the process.
On his part, Nairobi Area Traffic police boss Joshua Omukata called on the pedestrians and motorists to be cautious on the road.
Last week, NTSA rolled out a road safety campaign dubbed ‘Usalama Barabarani’ to enhance safety.
The authority will conduct awareness initiatives in some parts of the country to educate members of the public on road safety under the program.
Report by Stella Cherono, Maureen Ongala, George Munene, Eric Matara and Joseph Openda