The National Transport And Safety Authority (NTSA) has launched a crackdown on drunk driving in all major towns beginning Friday, October 9.
The directive was arrived at following the country reporting 60 deaths associated with drunk-driving and speeding between Friday, October 2 and Sunday, October 4.
A statement by the authority on Friday, October 9 showed it will be conducting random alcoblow tests on highways while ensuring measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 are in place.
“The government has noted with great concern the rising cases of road traffic accidents across the country majority being attributed to a failure in complying with basic road requirements,” it wrote.
JOINT PRESS STATEMENT ON INCREASED ROAD TRAFFIC CRASHES pic.twitter.com/5DXoX3kATP
— National Police Service-Kenya (@NPSOfficial_KE) October 9, 2020
The NTSA will also undertake nationwide enforcement of operations to address factors such as speeding, lane indiscipline and crackdown on unroadworthy vehicles.
Also noted speed guns are back full force. https://t.co/kvDSDYvRhu
— Kalamzinga (@Kalasinga_) October 9, 2020
Assessment of general compliance with Public Service Vehicle (PSV) licensing requirements will also be conducted alongside other traffic offences.
“We assure the public that measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus shall be in place when undertaking these activities,” added NTSA.
According to the authority, reports indicated that 2,689 people had lost their lives between January 1, 2020, and September 30, 2020, compared to the same period in 2019 where 2,655 lives were lost. That translated to an increase in road fatalities of 1.3%
During the same period, cyclist and passenger deaths increased by 44.94% and 19.44% respectively.
The government introduced daytime ‘alcoblow’ tests in December 2018 in efforts to curb accidents caused by drunk driving during the festive season.
“The alcohol testing will go a long way in ensuring that the number of road fatalities is reduced during this festive season,” Joseph Boinnet noted at the time.
The accidents reported in the beginning of October occurred after President Uhuru Kenyatta lifted the order prohibiting the sale of alcohol facilitiating the reopening of bars.
He however called for caution to prevent a second wave of COVID-19 infections.
“The prohibition against the operation of bars and the prohibition against the sale of alcoholic drinks and beverages by ordinary restaurants and eateries shall stand vacated,” he stated during a press conference on September 28, 2020.
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