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Shipping & Logistics

Roadside stations to reduce Northern Corridor crashes

Nairobi- Eldoret highway
A accident scene on the Nairobi- Eldoret highway on August 26, 2019. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The Northern Corridor Transit and Transport Coordination Authority (NCTTCA) has launched a multi-million project to reduce increasing cases of road accidents along Northern Corridor.

About 67 Road Side Stations (RSS) have been proposed for development under the public-private financing model in a bid to reduce road crashes mostly attributed to human error.

The roadside stations will provide four clusters of services — resting rooms for drivers and passengers, such as hotels, restaurants and recreation facilities; ICT services; medical and counselling and training services.

The stations will be constructed in Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo .

According to data compiled by the NCTTCA, Uganda has recorded the highest number of fatalities on the corridor while Burundi recorded the lowest cases in the past two years.

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The report indicates that most of the fatalities were attributed to accidents caused by privately-owned vehicles (30 percent) followed by commercial (26 percent) and Public service vehicles (21 percent). The rest were caused by pedestrians and motorcyclist.

"The increasing accident fatalities are a serious cause of concern as African countries had committed to reducing accident fatalities by 50 percent by 2020 following the UN road Safety Decade and the African Action Plan for the Road Safety – 2011-2020. Due to that, we have recommended the construction of 67 RSS to ensure the numbers are reduced," read part of the report.

In Kenya, there were 318 fatalities that were reported during the review period. Majority of the cases were reported on the Gilgil-Mau summit stretch with 74 cases followed by the Rironi- Gilgil stretch with 61 cases.

Mombasa-Voi area recorded least number of accident cases, which has been attributed to the fact that drivers are not fatigued, having covered a short distance from the Mombasa port.

Data from the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) indicates most of the accidents occur between 1700 hours and 2000 hours as a result of poor visibility and rush hour especially in cities along the Corridor. This means road infrastructure and signage need to be enhanced to improve safety for those who drive after dusk.

The report says most of the accidents were reported on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

"The main resulting causes of accidents in particular fatalities were highly attributable to losing control of the vehicle, failing to observe traffic lane discipline, overtaking improperly, excessive speed, misjudging clearance and error in judgment were some of the causes," said the report.

From the analysis, the numbers of fatalities in Kenya were high among men accounting for 83.96 percent whereas female fatalities were 16.04 percent.

In Burundi, there were 201 accidents reported last year which was an increase of 9 percent compared to 2017 according to Burindi Road traffic and Road Safety Police report released few weeks ago.

Between June 2018 and March 2019, most fatalities were on Bugarama-Bujumbura section 43 percent followed closely by Kanyaru Haut- Kayanza section 35 percent and Kayanza- Bugarama section accounted for 21 percent.

Major causes of accidents were attributed to steep slopes, lack of road signage, over speeding, failure of brakes, fatigue and landslides particularly on the Bugarama-Bujumbura route.

Most of the accidents occur during daytime and mainly trucks are involved in accidents.

Burundi has developed road safety strategy however implementation has been slow because of inadequate resources. The government planned to implement speed gun and put in place clear road signages.

In Uganda, statistics indicate 13,244 crashes were reported in 2017, out of which 3,051 were fatal, 6,530 were serious and 3,663 were minor. The number of fatal accidents increased by 2.4 percent compared to 2016 while serious and minor crashes reduced significantly by 8.7 percent and 15.6 percent respectively.

Pedestrians were the largest casualty of the class killed accounting for (40 per cent) of all casualties followed by passengers at 27 per cent and motorcyclists at 23 per cent.

Road traffic accident deaths were highest in August and lowest in February while majority of accidents mostly occurred between 1600hrs and 2100hrs attributed to the heavy traffic flow during that time and poor visibility. Careless driving remained the single largest causation factor for all crashes.

In Rwanda based on road section on the Northern Corridor for the period of October 2018 to March 2019. Major causes of accidents were attributed to speeding, wrong maneuvers and reckless driving.

Most fatalities (20 percent) were on Kigali-Musanze-Rubavu section followed closely by Kigali–Huye-Akanyaru section 19 percent and Ruhwa–Bugarama–Rusizi–Buhinga-Karongi-Rubavu section 16 percent. The report proposes strict law enforcement against over speeding, drunk driving and non-compliance with traffic rules to enhance road safety in Rwanda.

Road safety data was not available for DRC and South Sudan during the stakeholder consultations.

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