KeNHA regional director Julius Mak'Oderoh with the County Commissioner, David Gitonga during a press release. Photo, Ian Byron; KTMN.

Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) has cracked the whip on the road users aimed at containing road accidents in Migori town.

In a meeting with transport stakeholders in Migori town, Nyanza regional director for KeNHA Engineer Julius Mak’Oderoh condemned the ignorance of drivers on road safety as the main cause of accidents.

“Our assessment indicates that most drivers have been ignorant about the road safety rules which translates to the high number of accidents in this town,” said Mak’Oderoh.

He also noted that non adherence to the safety rules by drivers has created loopholes in the transport sector which endangers their lives and the road users.

In his address, Mak’Oderoh stressed the need for the transporters to be aware of the road precautions as well as their responsibilities to uphold the safety rules.

Mak’Oderoh’s address follows a series of road accidents in a span of less than a month, where several lives have been lost, while other citizens left with permanent scars.

Countering overloading

Mak’Oderoh cautioned large truck drivers who he said that have been fond of overloading which has been a major cause of the wreckage of most of the vehicles and the consequent accidents.

He cautioned the drivers on the need to use the roads as means to income-generating business hence the need to use it sparingly.

“The transporters need to be fully aware that the road is a means to doing business and without taking care of it, then their business will be affected,” he noted.

in a bid to crack the whip on the overloading drivers, he reiterated that the ongoing construction of the weighbridge at Awendo will be key in addressing the issue.

When operationalized, it will complement the virtual weighbridge and the stationary Rongo weighbridge to boost the check on overloading.

“There are plans to roll out additional virtual weighbridges to compliment the stationery ones at Rongo and Awendo to help counter overloading,” he reiterated.

Mobile patrol team

In addition to the weighbridges, Mak’Oderoh also said that the authority has plans to roll out the mobile patrols team to monitor overloading.

According to his statement, the patrol team will be equipped with state-of-the-art technology to track down drivers who evade weighbridges.

The officers will also operate in areas away from the weighbridges to ensure that overloading does not happen even with transporters operating on feeder roads.

The move will also be an initiative to wipe out the drivers who do not have a driving license or number plates.

“With proper surveillance and proper coordination with the County administration, we will suppress such practices,” said Mak’Oderoh.

Engaging the County security committee

Mak’Oderoh pleaded for close coordination between KeNHA and the county administration as a means to ending ignorance of road safety measures and the road accidents.

KeNHA, therefore, appealed to the County Commissioner to help them crack the whip on rogue transport operators and bring the perpetrators to book.

“We, therefore, implore the County Commissioner with his team to help us tighten this rope that aims at curbing practices that are detrimental to the road network in this region,” said the director.

While addressing the issue, County Commissioner David Gitonga promised to fast-track the implementations by the transport stakeholders.

He swore to use his jurisdiction to ensure that the road encroachers are met with equal forces to ensure that the A1 road becomes smooth to use.

“I assure you that as security protocols in the county, we shall partner with National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) to ensure a crackdown on the non-adherent road users,” said Gitonga.

The recommendations will back up the existing strategies to counter road accidents including the construction of a footbridge which has helped in reducing the traffic snarl-up.

The new move also aims at clearing the road reserves and the walkways more often used by open-air traders, therefore, squeezing the width of the roads.

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