In November 2016 the NTSA director-general, Mr Francis Meja described the worrying situation of the Boda boda industry . It was none other to do with the ignorance of the users and the risk they put civilians in.
Something that has to do with following simple road rules.
Deaths from motorcycles are half the average annual deaths – 3,000 – on roads, a disturbing finding that the National Transport and Safety Authority is scratching its head over in search of a solution.
In the latest Migori incident , a boda boda rider has been put on the blame in the in the incident that has left a body gourd dead and several others hospitalized including the woman representative.
The accident occurred after the driver swayed the vehicle to avoid hitting a boda boda rider.
It then veered off the road and rolled several times.
The body of the deceased was taken to Rosewood Hospital mortuary in Rongo.
¦ROAD ACCIDENT¦ My utmost sincere condolences to the family of Mr. Owich bodyguard to Migori Women Representative. It is also my prayer that Hon. Dr Pamela Odhiambo who has rushed to hospital, will fight and overcome. Quick recovery madam Pamela pic.twitter.com/sCh8i8S1ab
— LEGIT DAILY (@iamlegitdaily) October 28, 2018
ODM leader Raila Odinga via Twitter wished Pamela quick recovery.
We have received disturbing news about Migori Women Representative Hon Dr Pamela Odhiambo being involved in a grisly road accident this morning. I wish the MP quick recovery.
— Raila Odinga (@RailaOdinga) October 28, 2018
“We have received disturbing news about … the grisly road accident. I wish the MP quick recovery. My deep and sincere condolences to the family of Dr Odhiambo’s bodyguard.”
Odhiambo was heading to Homa Bay for a public function led by Baringo Senator Gideon Moi.
Boda-boda have become a panacea to traffic jams in the city, and in areas where roads are chock-a-block with vehicles.
Mr Meja said the deaths should be a warning to Kenyans and riders who ignore the law.
In January 2017 alone, killer motorbikes took the lives of 44 Kenyans, 33 riders and 11 passengers.
This is an average of one rider a day lost in an industry that desperately needs regulation.
In the same month, 49 riders were seriously injured while 12 had slight injuries, the authority reports. And with over 274,685 motorcycles registered in the two years under review, the statistics could only increase.
The numbers have been rising from 2015 when 434 motorcyclists and 203 passengers died.
But the 2016 figures were by far the highest, with 501 riders losing their lives, while 217 passengers also died.
Mr Meja said: “Kenyans have allowed impunity to take root. And the most worrying part is that they do not care until there is a problem, and even then they care only for a moment.”
“Before an accident happens, many other things happen that lead to it,” he said.
He said some riders do not have licences, while others have never trained to ride a motorcycle.
The problem, he said, should be placed squarely on the shoulders of motorcycle owners.
“The owners sit in offices and set targets for the riders. They need to take responsibility when these things occur. Also, they should ensure each motorcycle has two helmets,” said Mr Meja.
With these grim statistics, why has the safety authority not cracked the whip? Mr Meja is worried that regulations are being flouted left, right and centre.
“The boda-boda is an important business. But it must be regulated. The riders must work in a safe manner,” said Mr Meja.
He said: “The question we are grappling with is, should we allow the industry to grow further or should we organise it first?”
He did not provide the answer. He should have.