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President Kenyatta orders NTSA officers out of roads

President Uhuru Kenyatta has directed that all National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) officers be withdrawn from Kenyan roads.

The President said that traffic police officers should take over duties on Kenyan highways.

He said the latest directive is part of efforts by the government to curb road crashes.

The president was speaking Tuesday in Meru during the burial of three African Independent Pentecostal Church of Africa (AIPCA) bishops who died in a grisly crash at Wamumu along the Embu-Nairobi highway on December 29, 2017.

The funeral service of bishops Philip Kubai (Ntonyiri), Stanley Karuru (Igembe Central) and Moses Ntoeruri (Igembe South) was held at Maili Tatu grounds in Igembe Central.

CALL TO KENYANS

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Mr Kenyatta said he is concerned with increased deaths on Kenyan roads.

At the same time, Mr Kenyatta called on Kenyans to take the responsibility of ensuring that roads are safe.

“I agree that road accidents have been on the rise and the government will work to ensure we minimise the accidents. We have decided that all NTSA officers withdraw from the roads and leave traffic work to the police. We want to see if we can restore order on the roads,” the President said.

CARELESS DRIVING

The head of State noted that about 80 percent of road crashes are caused by careless driving and disregard for the traffic laws.

“The government will play its part but Kenyans must also play their part. As a passenger, you have a responsibility to ensure the driver observes the rules. Passengers should not be the ones urging drivers to speed,” he said.

AIPCA Archbishop Julius Njoroge who led the funeral service blamed NTSA for failing to restore normalcy on the roads.

The bishop called on the government to put in place new measures to end road carnage.

While eulogising the three bishops as leaders who sought to unite the church, Archbishop Njoroge noted that current road safety measures have failed.

“Accidents do not occur, they are caused. Several measures including the establishment of the National Transport and Safety Authority have not yielded results. Something else must be done. We cannot expect different results by doing things the same way,” the archbishop said.

OBSERVE ROAD DISCIPLINE

He faulted NTSA for failing in its mandate and urged road users to observe discipline to restore sanity on the roads.

“I feel NTSA officers are behaving like traffic police officers. This was not the intention of the government in setting up NTSA,” the bishop said.

There have been calls to either disband or restructure NTSA which has been seen to be unable to ensure safety on Kenyan road.

Hundreds of Kenyans have died in the recent past due to road carnage, the worst incident being the one at Migaa where at least 36 people died when a Nairobi-bound bus hit a truck on December 31, 2017.

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