The Kenyan road safety education and awareness week starts a series of campaigns, up to a United Nations (UN) launch of Global Decade of Action for Road Safety, in May 2011.
The worldwide campaign aims to mobilise resources, develop institutions and plan interventions to halve current road accidents rates by 50% by 2015.
Worldwide road crashes kill 1.3-m people each year, and injure 50-m. Transport fatalities are higher than malaria.
Road losses in developing countries
By 2015, according to a World Health Organisation (WHO) estimate, road crashes would be the leading cause of premature death and disability for children aged five and above, as reported on SHEQafrica.com in 2010.
Some 90% of road casualties are in poor and developing countries. Kenyan traffic accidents claim 3000 lives per year, mostly 15 to 45 years old.
Motorcycle accidents rising
Kenya has one of the worst traffic loss incident rates in the world, with 510 fatal accidents for every 100 000 registered vehicles. Road accidents caused by motorcycles have risen, with hospitals each using entire wards for motorcycle accident victims, reports KBC News in Nairobi.
In just nine months, from January to September 2010, Kenya recorded 1899 fatal road accidents. Kenya’s Road Safety Education and Awareness Week involves departments of Road, Transport, Health, Security, and Special Programmes.
Road compliance and maintenance
Word Bank road safety specialist Victor Ako Mengot said most injuries and deaths followed legal transgressions of regulations like safety belts, child restraint harnesses, overloading, and rules of the road, as well as poor vehicle maintenance and condition, like tire wear.
Kenya’s road safety campaign is supported by petrol supplier Total and a local World Bank agency.