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Loreti Convent Msongari Students Involved In Bus Crash

On Friday July 29, 2011, an accident along the Meru Nanyuki Highway resulted in the death of 3 students of Loreto Convent Msongari. Sixteen other students had critical injuries and were hospitalised in various hospitals, their lives changed forever. According to various media reports, it was indicated that the brakes on the bus failed and as the terrain was a downward slope, the bus spun out of control, rolled a couple of times and hit the stationary Kerugoya Boys school bus. The most chilling account of the accident was the young girl who said that the bus driver apologised before the accident occured.

The location of the accident, Subuiga Junction, is considered an accident black spot. According to the Kenya Police website, there are seventy eight [78] accident black spots in the country, most of which are surprisingly in Coast Province. Advice from the Kenya Police states that motorists should take extra care whilst driving in these areas. How many motorists do you think are aware of these black spots? How many more accidents need to occur before something is done about these black spots? The truth of the matter is that, most Kenyans only become aware of black spots when there is a tragic accident which catapults the particular region into the media spotlight. This was the case with the Salgaa/Sachangwan black spot, where in 2009, over 100 people died, as they tried to siphon petrol from an tanker that had lost control at the spot.


The Loreto Convent Msongari accident brings to light another black spot and we have to question ourselves: What could have been done to prevent this tragedy? There is a tendency to blame accidents on black spots without going back to the basis of why a particular location would be branded a black spot. A black spot is defined as a place where there is a high concentration of accidents. According to the Kenya National Highway Authority(KeNHA), the Subuiga Junction is considered a black spot due to the terrain and increased traffic volume[1]. Now, falling short of moving the entire road network, there is so much that can be done to prevent and reduce accidents at black spots.

For one, the Kenya National Highway Authority should carry out its mandate[2]. Once a road is paved/constructed, the road signs relevant to the particular area should be erected. Despite the catastrophe at the Salgaa, an accident black spot sign much like the one erected along Thika Road on the Utalii Corner has yet to be erected. In addition, KeNHA should, with guidance from the Kenya Police statistics on accidents, put up signage at all listed accident black spots sites. After which, issues such as construction of rumble strips and other measures to control the movement of traffic should be considered to ensure that roads are safer.

Most importantly, motorists should be aware of their surroundings and should drive carefully at all times ensuring that they do not overspeed.

Written By Ciiku Ndehi
Chariots of Destiny Organization.
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