A joint report by Kenya’s National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA), the World Bank, the European Union and UK’s Department for International Development (DfID) estimates that 35 percent of traffic deaths in Nairobi occur near matatu stages where public service vehicles pick up and drop passengers, an indictment to city planners who fail to design such spaces to enhance public safety.
As a result of these omissions, many of these stages lack basic features, including designated crossing points and secure sidewalks, which in turn expose commuters to hazards, including being knocked over while or after alighting or before boarding.
To address some of these challenges, the flow of vehicles, driver training on behaviour and safety of pedestrians, not to mention appropriate design of bus stops ought to be given priority.
The many preventable traffic-related deaths, injuries, traffic jams and related traffic woes are a strain to the economy through loss of workforce as well as health care costs. The NTSA was created, among other things, to deal with rogue matatu crew who pick up and release passengers at will, exposing them to woes and pain, and it ought to step up its campaigns to boost safety and reduce both traffic fatalities and injuries. The government should also step up road safety campaigns.