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Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Of roads, bumps, accidents & traffic jams...
Reading the latest Weekend Star, I could not help noticing that there are many accidents that have been reported and everytime the 'will' of the people (mostly pedestrians), is that the authorities should put up bumps there.
Now, this is a very impractical solution to the problem and highly myopic, too.
This is why.....
1. We have so many bumps all over the country, but, it has had scant effect on the number of accidents.
2. These bumps are usually put up with no authorization and probably that is the reason they are of varied shapes and sizes. There is no uniformity to them.
3. There is no logic in putting up bumps on roads that are not maintained consistently. Because, their condition does not cause speeding. Whether we like it or not - we cannot....., even in an emergency!
4. These in turn damage vehicles which can result in accidents.
5. Non-vehicular traffic, i.e. pedestrians, mkokotenis, etc., are extremely careless and some have absolutely no idea on how to use urban roads. These, seem to have the idea that they can behave/walk anywhere and anyhow since they will NEVER (at least NOT in this country), be prosecuted for not abiding by the highway code. It will ALWAYS be the vehicle's fault - they believe (and so do the cops). These people, do not even bother to look right or left before setting their foot on the road. Then, some of them are listening to music, etc., and even if one was to hoot at them to warn them they are totally unaware. The same applies to people, both drivers and pedestrians, who are talking on mobile phones.
6. When building roads, do the authorities take into account the many causes of 'road rage'? They should.
7. Motorists have many things to deal with on our roads. Some of them have been mentioned above. When, they have to deal with rising fuel prices, horrible roads, insane and unlawful use of roads by other traffic, it leads to road rage.
8. Learner drivers should NOT be allowed any and everywhere since they are partly the causes of traffic jams. We have too many of them all over. Also, all these driving schools - are they really legitimate and up to standard? Which body regularizes them? This could also be the reason for having substandard drivers on the roads who are totally irresponsible.
9. Tuk tuk and boda boda drivers. Who trains them? This also, of course, includes the matatu drivers, too. In Mombasa and other small towns, roads are completely taken over by these goons and they can be very uncivilized and uncouth.
10. By putting off from building new conduit roads (and wide ones with proper drainage), the government is causing traffic jams. We need new roads very urgently all over, particularly, Coast Province. New access routes in and out of Mombasa Island. For now we have only three.
The ferry to go to the South Coast. The Nyali bridge to get to North Coast which is chock-a-block with traffic at peak times and so is the Makupa Causeway to go west, i.e. get to our International Airport and further inland.
Should any major event occur on any of these routes to block them, people would get seriously stranded not to mention people missing local and International flights!
And FINALLY, all road users should be conversant with the highway code and apply it everyday.