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Time for Action

Seven months after the United Nations launched the "Decade of Action for Road Safety" traffic statistics reported that Kenyan roads had already claimed 3,271 lives last year.FIA General Assembly held in New Delhi, India and attended by sport and mobility members from around the world- saw Kenya featuring prominently, but "for wrong reasons."Nevertheless, Kenya Motor Sports Federation (KMSF) is determined to erase this negativity by joining hands with various stakeholders in a bid to reduce accidents on our roads. KMSF Chairman Dave Macharia, who represented the country at the Assembly (which culminated with the FIA Prize Giving Gala), was shocked that Kenya was repeatedly being portrayed as a "bad example" as far as global road safety matters are concerned. In a letter to all FIA Club Presidents, FIA Mobility Regional Presidents, FIA Mobility Regional Co-ordinators and FIA Commission Chairs, FIA President Jean Todt said: "FIAs own branded Action for Road Safety initiative, through which we will support the Decade of Action, harnesses the global reach of the FIA, the unique ability to work through both our motoring and touring Clubs and through motor sport, as well as relevance and credibility of the FIA to lead the effort to improve road safety.""Road safety is one issue we Kenyans need to address comprehensively and ensure our roads are safe and conducive to its users," Macharia averred in reference to the grim statistics that have caused suffering and grief in developing countries like Kenya. He said KMSF, which is one of the FIA Clubs, will benefit from the funding from the FIA Foundation which is structured as an annual block to give FIA an opportunity to renew the grant for two additional years. "This funding will begin this year," said Macharia adding that the FIA is developing a rigorous and transparent grant application process to support road safety initiatives in their countries or regions.
Landmark initiative
Todt continued in his letter: "The Decade of Action is landmark initiative that is supported strongly by the FIA because working together with FIA Clubs; we have the opportunity to participate to change the world by saving 5 million lives and preventing 50 million injuries."
Macharia reckons that if many stakeholders come together to make this notion a success, then "we know how to prevent such deaths and injuries."
Macharia said the road safety initiative that was recently launched by the KMSF, The World Bank, Total Kenya and various stakeholders will be integrated into "Decade of Action campaign once formalities are finalised."
The World Bank and stakeholders have designed a modern drivers training institute at Kasarani to combine assimilation training as well as the actual physical testing of knowledge of roads, rules and signals.
To support the efforts and sustain the momentum of the "Decade of Action for Road safety," the FIA has secured a funding grant from the FIA Foundation for two strategic multi-year programmes: the strategic work programme for road safety and the strategic work programme for capacity building.

Written by Feverpitch (Daily Nation Published on 01/01/2012)


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