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Road safety takes center stage as cyclists give Joe Dzombo final farewell

Cyclist Joe Dzombo is among the many kenyan cyclists who have died in road accidents. He was knocked down by a speeding matatu along Lower Kabete Road on Tuesday 9

Kenyan cyclists, family & friends gather at the late Joe Dzombos' memorial service on Sunday 14

At least 4,690 people lost their lives on Kenyan roads in 2022, a 2023 survey by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) shows. An average of 390 deaths per month and 12 deaths daily, with a majority occurring during the weekends.

This is despite increasing calls to road users; both motorists and pedestrians, to exercise caution and obey traffic rules.

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According to the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA), the majority of road traffic deaths are among vulnerable road users - pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcyclists.

While pedestrians continue to account for the largest number of deaths on Kenyan roads, the number of cyclists lost on the road also continues to rise every year.

According to the 2023 Economic Survey, a total of 159 pedal cyclists died on the road in 2022.

Meanwhile statistics from NTSA, shows that a total of 56 pedal cyclists died on the road between January and November 2022, while another 17 perished between January and March this year.

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NTSA reports indicate that the majority road accidents are preventable as they result from speeding, lane indiscipline, overloading, dangerous overtaking, crossing the road at undesignated areas among others

In April 2023, the government through the Ministry of Transport issued a raft of new measures to curb the rising cases of road accidents in the country.

Some of the measures include, mandatory driving retest and medical fitness test, installation of speed limit vendors and formation of a multi-agency clinic to verify and validate all speed limiters.

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However, even with the measures in place, the number of accidents leading to the death of cyclists on Kenyan roads is still on an upward trajectory.

This has prompted the cyclist fraternity to air out concerns with human rights defenders stating that a majority of Kenyan roads, especially underpasses, do not have cycling or pedestrian paths.

The most recent case is the death of a renown cyclist Joe Dzombo who was hit by a matatu.

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In the Tuesday, May 9 incident, he was knocked down by a speeding matatu along Lower Kabete Road.

He sustained serious injuries from the impact and was rushed to hospital, where he, unfortunately, succumbed shortly after being admitted.

Family and friends who attended his memorial service on Sunday, May 14, 2023 mourned him as a philanthropist.

The cyclist community has given Joe a ride of honor as they escorted him to his final resting place.

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He will be laid to rest today, Tuesday, May 16, 2023 at his home in Samburu village, Kwale County

Critical Mass Nairobi (CMN), a Kenyan non profit organisation, has challenged the government and all the other stakeholders to take action and save the lives of cyclists and pedestrians.

Some of the strategies that they have identified so far include forging partnerships with matatu Saccos, media opportunities to highlight the cause and plans to develop legislation and review the existing road safety laws.

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