Introduction to the Gerivia Road Safety Series [Part 1]

Gerivia Road Safety

The rate of accidents on our roads has been on the rise and at an alarming rate. Kenyan roads are fraught with daily fatal accidents. With a reported annual road accident mortality rate of around 3, 000 people annually, we are presently losing about 10 people daily on our roads. The vast majority of the road accidents have been noted to be occasioned by human error. The 3,000 plus deaths and heavy injury toll are therefore preventable.

The latest trend on this scene has been what is commonly known as rear-ending. This is where one vehicle collides into the one in front of it, whether stationary or moving. In Kenya, fatal rear-end collisions have been occurring at night and mainly between small sized vehicles and heavy trucks, where in most cases the visibility of the trucks by other drivers has been compromised.

We wish to point out, at this early stage, that there is a problem with statistical information and reporting of road accidents in Kenya, with the media focusing mostly on “newsworthy” accidents such as those involving high profile persons or multiple casualties, but rarely reporting on causes and prevention.

Picture this: Angela Chibalonza (Nairobi-Nakuru Highway), Allan Makaka (Mombasa Road), John De Mathew (Thika Road), Jimmy Wayuni (Thika Road), Allan Ngugi (Southern Bypass), Mike Gathecha (Thika Road) are famous Kenyans who were victims of rear-end collision accidents. There are many other Kenyans who are victims of these kinds of fatal accidents.

Contrast with this: On the dawn of 8th February 2021, a Toyota Premio rammed a stalled tractor from the rear. The tractor’s trailer was loaded with electricity poles. On impact, the loose poles ploughed through the cabin via the windscreen and out through the rear- killing 2 of the 3 occupants in the process. The gory images went viral on this day.

We sadly could not ascertain the names of the three occupants of the car from either mainstream media or community blogs (at a casual glance) and there was hardly any reporting of the accident beyond that date. We therefore only get to know of these accidents when they go viral on social media, involve our loved ones or a famous person in the Country. This is because our mainstream media outlets tend to pay more focus on politics and other ‘more relevant’ content.

If not for the occasional Twitter Account that highlights road safety issues regularly, we would never know of some of the dangers that lurk on our roads. As pointed out, most of these fatal accidents are avoidable. Take night-time collisions for instance; the collisions with the invisible stationary trucks can easily be avoided by simply increasing visibility of the truck. We however opt for the simplistic approach of ascribing blame to the driver’s speed, drunkenness or lack of awareness. This approach of misplaced blame is not pragmatic to identifying and solving this problem on the long-term.

It is a requirement under the Traffic Regulations for trucks to be fitted with retro-reflective strips and proper lighting to make them visible to other road users at night.

Still on this example, did you know that it is a requirement under the Traffic Regulations for trucks to be fitted with retro-reflective strips and proper lighting to make them visible to other road users at night? Did you also know that it is illegal to park a trailer or truck at the side of the road at night without having two lamps at the front of the vehicle with sufficient intensity to indicate the presence of the motor vehicle or trailer from a distance of 150 meters and two lamps at the rear sufficient to indicate its presence from 200 meters out.

The point we are making is, our Traffic Laws are actually not too shabby. The current legal framework has the capability to reduce on these fatalities if well implemented. The examples above are just one limb of the problem, there are many more.

At Gerivia Advocates LLP, we have embarked on a project dubbed the Gerivia Road Safety Series as part of our corporate citizenship responsibility to highlight specific problems on our roads and propose solutions. Throughout the series we will be asking – where or what is the problem and what are the solutions? This Series seeks to:

  1. Analyse the possible causes of the various dangers and accidents on our roads;
  2. Create more awareness on the road safety problem and work with other stakeholders on prevention by advocating effective implementation of law and policy measures;
  3. Review what has been done and what more can be done through policy and law;
  4. Propose appropriate legal reforms and enforcement action to curb the problem;

Please visit our Website ( to have a look at the articles on this Series. We are happy to engage and propose solutions in the road safety space! To fellow Kenyans – keep safe, drive with reason, drive with a reason.

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