Motorcycle accidents have claimed over 100 people in the first two weeks of this year, raising concern over the future of this flexible means of transport.
New data from the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) however indicates that death among road users fell by three per cent in 2016 compared to the previous year.
The 2,965 fatalities in 2016 fall below the 3,057 recorded in 2015. Conversely, over the period, motorcycle deaths grew by 12 per cent to 718 from 637 recorded in 2015.
The surge in the number of deaths is linked to the proliferation of motorcycles in Kenya and reckless riding.
“This is a worrying picture and it is time we said enough is enough. As NTSA we will continue to crackdown on riders who flout the law but to keep the numbers from going up it is important for the riders to observe the law to safeguard their lives and those pillion passengers,” said NTSA manager safety strategies and county co-ordinator Samuel Musumba.
Both rural and urban dwellers prefer motorcycles because of convenience. They are a popular means of transport in urban areas for their ability to beat traffic jams.
“Motorcycles have created employment opportunities for youths and continue to help people to access places that were previously had to visit.
These operators inject Sh400 million into our economy every day and we will not stop sensitising the public on the importance of staying safe,” he said.
Mr Musumba said that 80 per cent of accidents on Kenyan roads are a result of human error and the number should fall if the law is enforced.
Last year the authority began enforcing the law through county transport and safety committees.