Over the last fifteen years, road safety has emerged as a significant global public policy issue. In 2004, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the World Bank published the World Report on Road Traffic Injury Prevention which warned that road traffic injuries “constitute a major public health and development crisis”. In the same year the United Nations General Assembly invited WHO to act as the UN’s coordinator on road safety issues working in close cooperation with the UN regional commissions. The WHO subsequently set up the UN Road Safety Collaboration (UNRSC) to serve as an informal consultative body bringing together leading road safety stakeholders.

Then in 2006, the independent Commission for Global Road Safety was formed under the chairmanship of Lord Robertson of Port Ellen to encourage stronger worldwide political support for road injury prevention. The Commission published the report ‘Make Roads Safe: A New Priority for Sustainable Development’ which called for a global ministerial conference on road safety and also proposed a ten year action plan to reverse the rising tide of road injuries. The UN General Assembly subsequently proclaimed the Decade of Action for Road Safety in a resolution adopted April 2010. The Decade was then launched on 11 May 2011 with the goal to “stabilize and then reduce” the level of road traffic fatalities by 2020.

To support the Decade of Action for Road Safety, a Global Plan has been developed by the UN Road Safety Collaboration which promotes an integrated framework of recommended actions across five key policy pillars areas as follows five pillars for road safety:

  1. Pillar 1: Road safety management
  2. Pillar 2: Safe road and mobility
  3. Pillar 3: Safe vehicles
  4. Pillar 4: Road user behavior
  5. Pillar 5: Post-crash response

Both the UN General Assembly and the 2nd Global High Level Conference on Road Safety have supported the implementation of the Global Plan. On 25 September 2015 all 193 Member States of the UN adopted the Global Goals for Sustainable Development. They build on the 2000-2015 Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and establish a set of “universally applicable” goals and targets for “people, planet, prosperity, peace and partnership”. There are 17 Global Goals supported by 169 targets, which are to be implemented from 1 January 2016 over the next fifteen years until 2030. The UN envisages a strong role for legislators in implementing the Global Goals with parliaments encouraged to enact laws, adopt budgets, and ensure accountability (See paragraph 45: https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/post2015/transformingourworld).Road safety is included in the Global Goals for both health and cities. This represents long overdue recognition of road injury prevention as a key contributor to policies promoting public health, urban and sustainable development.

Walking will be crucial for and supported by the proposed SDGs as identified below:
SDG 3. Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
These targets in particular:

  • 3.4 by 2030: Reduce by one-third pre-mature mortality from non-communicable diseases (NCDs) through prevention and treatment, and promote mental health and wellbeing
  • 3.6 by 2020: Halve global deaths and injuries from road traffic accidents.

SDG 9: Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation
These targets in particular:

  • SDG 9.1 develop quality, reliable, sustainable and resilient infrastructure, including regional and trans-border infrastructure, to support economic development and human wellbeing, with a focus on affordable and equitable access for all.

SDG 11. Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
These targets in particular:

  • 11.2 by 2030: Provide access to safe, affordable, accessible and sustainable transport systems for all, improving road safety, notably by expanding public transport, with special attention to the needs of those in vulnerable situations, women, children, persons with disabilities and older persons
  • 11.3 by 2030: Enhance inclusive and sustainable urbanization and capacities for participatory, integrated and sustainable human settlement planning and management in all countries
  • 11.6 by 2030:Reduce the adverse per capita environmental impact of cities, including by paying special attention to air quality, municipal and other waste management
  • 11.7 by 2030: Provide universal access to safe, inclusive and accessible, green and public spaces, particularly for women and children, older persons and persons with disabilities

The Burden of Road Traffic Injuries: Globally, Africa and Kenya

Global Road Safety Situation Each year about 1.35 million people are killed in road traffic crashes and around 50 million are injured around the world with approximately 20 million becoming permanently disabled. Most of those killed are young, road traffic injuries are now the leading killer of children and young people aged 5-29 years. This means that the most affected currently are children. More than half of all road traffic deaths are among vulnerable road users; pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists. In addition, Road traffic injuries are currently the eight leading causes of death for all age groups 54% of deaths are pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists.

There is an average of 3,400 preventable deaths a day and a further 20 to 50 million people are injured. Vulnerable road users make up to 54% of those killed in road traffic crashes (28% motorcyclists, 23% pedestrians and 3% cyclists). These fatalities are projected to increase to almost two million by 2020 with the rise in global economic development and accompanying motorization, unless substantial efforts are made to improve road safety and deliver sustainable transport choices. With more than 700 million cars on the roads today globally and a projected increase to two billion by 2030, it is certain that motorization level will increase at a high speed all over the world. Consequently, traffic will increase, and driving conditions will become more complex. If we have any hope of having an excellent road safety situation today, there is every reason to be worried for our future due to the growth in traffic.

The impact and human suffering of such sudden, violent and traumatic events caused by road crashes is the cumulative toll of long-lasting, often permanent suffering. The emotional and psychological pain endured, losing a family member or their injury or disability can put significant financial strain on a family. In many countries, families are frequently driven into poverty by the cost of prolonged medical care, the loss of a family breadwinner, or the extra funds needed to care for people with disabilities apart from the huge medical bills. Road crashes are indeed very wasteful in terms of monetary, environmental, economic, health, social and human aspects.

Africa Region African region has the highest estimated road traffic fatality rate at 26.6 per 100,000 population. This is despite having the lowest level of motorization in the world at 46.6 vehicles per 1,000 people compared to 510.3 vehicles per 1000 people in Europe. Half of all road traffic deaths in the region occur among vulnerable road users (pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists) with the highest proportion of deaths among pedestrians at 39% (WHO, 2015). Road traffic injuries are estimated to cost low and middle-income countries 1-2% of their Gross Domestic Product (GDP), majority of African countries fall in this category. Economically, disadvantaged families are hardest hit by both direct medical costs and indirect costs such as low wages that result from these injuries.

Road Safety situation in Kenya

Road Safety situation in Kenya Road Traffic Injuries (RTI) are a leading cause of death, hospitalization, disability and socioeconomic loss in Kenya. Deaths are only the tip of the iceberg as hospitalizations are 30–50 times more. A majority of those killed and injured are pedestrians, two-wheeler riders and pillion riders as well as cyclists. In Kenya, over 3,000 people are killed every year. More than twice as many are permanently disabled by their injuries. Statistics show that over the past 10 years, on average over 17,000 people were left injured after road crashes every year, with half of those being serious injuries that led to permanent disability. This state of affairs leaves behind shattered families and communities, worsening the state of affairs of the units. Beyond human suffering, road traffic deaths and injuries impose significant economic and financial losses to individuals and societies. Financial losses to individuals and families are not mitigated by adequate insurance coverage in Kenya, thus leaving many with very high health care bills. This hits vulnerable households particularly hard.

The economic cost of road crashes in Kenya is estimated to be 3.5% of the GDP per year. Road traffic injuries are estimated to create a 300 billion Kenya shillings burden on the Kenyan economy annually. Road deaths and serious injuries are not just unfortunate accidents. They are predictable, preventable, and unacceptable. Evidence shows that setting a road safety target is an effective way to reduce the number of people killed and seriously injured in traffic crashes’ working in Partnership with Global Alliance of NGOs for road safety, National Transport Safety Authority (NTSA) County and other Local authorities, emergency services, NGOs, Humanitarian Aids, public and private sector from across the 47 counties. Our aim is to reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured in collisions on our roads through educating people about road safety, enforcing road traffic laws and environmentally friendly.

Our strategy is focused on 5 main pillars of UN Decade of Action for road safety:

Road Safety Management

Working with relevant stakeholders in support of a functioning Lead Agencies National transport safety Agency (NTSA), crash information systems producing regular data that is disseminated and used to continuously improve the effectiveness of road safety actions, and enjoy substantial coordination between relevant public and private institutions from an array of sectors. The UN Decade of Action has provided the opportunity for us to intensify or to develop activities towards building our institutional capacity. such as capacity building and developing local research and road safety monitoring.

What we are doing to Strength Partnership and collaboration is supporting the Police and Local Authority in their enforcement role to save lives:

Undertake more in-depth in enforcement to inform road users, training drivers and publicity activity in a bid to bring about behaviour change on our roads. Increase awareness around the (drink, drug driving, speeding, seatbelt, Helmet use and using a mobile phone and child restraint), in particular drink and drug driving, mobile phone use whilst driving and not wearing a seat belt as part of Operation Illuminate.

Consider best practice from elsewhere and implement new initiatives where the research shows this will have a beneficial impact on our community Policing objectives e.g. the introduction of a Community Speed Watch programme to be implemented via the local policing teams in conjunction with their communities.

Support to the multi sector Road Safety project targeting a high risk network corridor Encourage government and relevant stakeholders to provide facilities for non-motorized / vulnerable road users in urban and Sub urban areas. Promote Private Sector and Collaboration with key NGO’s, civil societies and disadvantaged groups increased involvement in Road development effort / program Promote for ‘minimum 3 star’ road infrastructure safety for all road users.

Safe Roads and Mobility

We urge Road safety to be given appropriate consideration in infrastructure development, and appropriate facilities for pedestrians and other vulnerable road users to be introduced or improved including safe journey to school for all children. To ensure basic safety conditions of the infrastructure, and carry out safety audits for the most traveled portions of the network throughout planning, designing, construction and operation stages and conduct corrective upgrade programs so that mitigation measures become part of day to day network management.

As part of our efforts to encourage partners to adopt a Safe System approach to ensure the transport system is designed, as far as possible, to protect people from death and serious injury we will:

  • Promote to ensure the design and maintenance of the road network seeks to improve road safety outcomes to meet the minimum 3 start rating.
  • Undertake road safety audit of highway improvement schemes, in line with the local authority, to identify road safety problems and suggest measures to eliminate or minimize any concerns
  • Provide facilities for vulnerable road users such as pedestrians and cyclists
  • Work in line with the National Transport safety Authority, county government, road agencies common approach to setting speed limits 30Kph Near School zones to save lives of young people
  • Continue to roll out 30Kph speed limits and zones in residential areas and outside schools. These targeted danger reduction schemes also aim to improve quality of life and encourage more people to walk or cycle in a bid to improve health and protect the environment. Evaluation of new schemes will enable us to provide support for such measures in the future under UNEP-NMT Project
  • Encourage government / Road constructions and concern agencies to provide facilities for non-motorized / vulnerable road users in urban and Sub urban areas such pedestrian lanes and cycling lanes
  • Capacity building Training for all road safety professionals and road agency executives
  • Support to the multi sector pilot Road Safety project targeting a high risk corridor and promote safe journey to school for all children in Kenya in support of IRAP minimum start rating for safe school zones

Safer Vehicles:

Low standards for vehicles contribute to a significant number of crashes. The private sector has an important role to play in updating the commercial fleet in Kenya. Safety standards need to be reviewed for all motor vehicles as well as related safety equipment such as seat belts including all school buses, and helmets for motorcycles (Boda Boda Riders) and bicycles – and law enforcement needs to be strengthened to ensure compliance with international standard / good practices, including regulations related to import of vehicles.

What we are doing for Road Worthiness of Vehicles (Vehicle Safety)

  • Encourage regular inspection of vehicles mandatory and ensure enforcement of inspection
  • Implement or strengthen enforcement in accordance with good practices in transport sectors
  • Encourage the use of fiscal advantage and other incentives for motor vehicles that provide high levels of road user protection and discourage import/ export of new or used cars that have reduced safety standards
  • Assist in Vehicle inspections

Safer Road Users

  • Offer road safety awareness for public and private businesses who have staff who drive for work to reduce on-road risk and collisions
  • Effectively communicate and engage with our target audiences via the most appropriate channels, making best use of social media and digital platforms to engage with the target audiences who are most familiar with these channels
  • Run road safety campaigns focusing on priority issues and targeting key road user groups, delivering engagement in the format that people want it
  • Establishing, help strengthen and encourage set up of school road safety clubs
  • Undertake& intensify safety awareness campaigns across the country
  • Develop national communication framework including social media Traffic safety campaigns
  • Assist to develop and distribute standardized road safety educational and awareness materials for schools
  • Support the implementation of Traffic safety education in primary schools.
  • Harmonize Traffic Safety in school at the county level
  • Encourage use of safety directives for commercial transport services which includes vehicle operation times and drivers working, driver training, security wise and resting hours

Post-crash response:

Besides work to prevent road crashes, a proper post-crash response is essential and a serious response to road death, injury and decent treatment of road victims are seen by Safedrive Africa as road victims’ human rights Advocates.

Better post-crash response is critical to achieving Sustainable Development Goal target 3.6 to reduce by 50 per cent by 2020 the number of people killed and injured in road traffic crashes, let us take the necessary steps to make our roads safe for all.

Post-crash care evaluating capabilities and practices of emergency services to road crash victims on national roads including, on-site management, transport of victims to health facilities, emergency and trauma care services for the injured, coordination of stakeholders involved in post-crash services. Post-crash management is a long term effort. It needs to consider on-site care, transport of the injured to appropriate medical facilities, and the trauma care of the injured.

Training for accident on-site care, and an ambulance service along priority roads are the first steps to be taken. In collaboration with the role of private sectors and other stake holders is again paramount here.

What we are doing for Emergency Care

  • Train first responders (traffic, fire fighters & commercial public transport drivers) in injury emergency response service
  • Initiate WHO’s Guideline for trauma quality improvement programs
  • Sensitization of the rural community on Traffic safety and emergency care
  • Supporting Road Traffic victims and counseling of Traffic Traumatized families
  • Training motorist the importance of special lane during emergency for ambulance

Our Platinum Partners

Leave a Legacy.