Confronting 'deaths on wheels': addressing road safety challenges in Kenya; a critical look beyond the existing legal and institutional frameworks
Ngeso, Cosmas J
MetadataShow full item record
Road traffic accidents have continued to be one of the greatest challenges not only in Kenya but globally. The World Health Organization accident statistics indicate that globally, an estimated 1.2 million people are killed annually through road traffic accidents and millions more are injured or disabled. Most of thesb accidents occur in low and middle income economies. Besides creating enormous social and economic losses to individuals, families and communities; road traffic accidents place a heavy burden on health services and economic development. Kenya loses an average of 3000 lives through road traffic crashes annually. More than ten times this number end up partially or totally disabled. Some of the accidents recorded in Kenya over the years have been very grisly, with some claiming entire families. While efforts are being made at global level to address road traffic accidents, Kenya is yet to come up with elaborate measures that can help address this menace effectively and safeguard lives of people transported along Kenya's roads. One of the landmark interventions at the global level aimed at addressing road safety challenges was the declaration of the years 2011-2020 as a Decade of Action on Road Safety by the United Nations in March 2010 through the UN General Assembly Resolution 64/255. The main goal of the resolution is to stabilize and then reduce the forecasted level of road traffic injuries around the world by increasing activities conducted at national, regional and global levels. The Resolution calls upon member states to implement road safety activities particularly in areas of road safety management, road infrastructure, vehicle safety, road user behavior, road safety education and post-crash responses. All member states are expected to come up with programmes that will help in realizing the objectives of the declaration. Kenya'S road safety status remains one of the worst not only in Africa, but globally. This is in spite of the fact that Kenya has a very low level of motorization compared to that of developed economies. It is therefore the objective of this thesis to examine the factors that have over the years contributed to continued loss of lives through road traffic crashes in Kenya and make recommendations that can be implemented to help save lives of people who use Kenya's roads. The thesis is divided into five Chapters: Chapter one sets the objective and framework of the study. Chapter two looks at road infrastructure, design, development and maintenance; it also examines the extent to which this process currently contributes to continued loss of lives. Chapter three looks at human behavior and its impacts on road safety. The Chapter looks at several aspects of human behavior which include; driver training and testing, drunk driving, vehicle inspection, transport licensing and general behavior of road users. Chapter four looks at traffic law enforcement in Kenya and its impacts on road safety. Chapter five concludes the discussion and makes recommendations.