A research by the Oversees Development Institute (ODI) and the World Resources Institute (WRI) has found that 65% of the people who die on the roads in Nairobi’s are pedestrians.

The report entitled ‘At the crossroads: the politics of road safety in Nairobi’ observes that more than half of road deaths are occurring on the new high-speed highways built in Nairobi with most victims being pedestrians and motorcyclists. The report was released on 23rd March 2018 at a public forum on road safety. KARA being one of the organizations that was extensively interviewed by the researchers was represented at the forum and shared about the initiatives it has taken so far to address transport challenges in Kenya.

The study found that road safety had gained more prominence in policy and regulations development in Kenya, though the policies are poorly enforced and overlook underlying causes of road collisions, such as the increasing number of private vehicles on the road, low investment in public transport, and the lack of safe road spaces for vulnerable road users.

Overcoming road safety issues also remains a low political priority, the new study warns. Politicians are still more likely to prioritize road construction over road safety improvements. This is shown by consistent funding by the government for road construction and the prioritization of new roads in the urban development plans. Whereas the new roads are a tangible sign of government’s action, road safety improvements are however less visible. Therefore politicians gain more public recognition for road improvements than for road safety improvements.

Some of the solutions recommended in the report include: undertaking legally-binding road safety assessments on all proposed road projects; development of a Bus Rapid ransit (BRT) system and the redesign of major city roads to ensure safety of pedestrians.

Sustainable Development Goal 3 includes a pledge by countries to halve the number of fatalities and injuries from traffic collisions by 2020.The Kenya government therefore needs to provide safe mobility for the majority of people who walk, cycle and use public transport.