An analysis of the pattern of road traffic accidents in relation to selected socio-economic dynamics and intervention measures in Kenya
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The basic qeustion that forms the core of the research problem for this study is: 'Why does the risk of road traffic accidetns appear to be increasing in kenya when road safety measures exist? This question is addressed by examining three main aspects of road traffic accidents in Kenya. Spatio temporal patterns, selected underlying socio economic dynamics and effectiveness of intervention measures. Two complementary approaches have been used to collect qualitative assessment. The main findings of the study are summarised as follows; Time series analysis has revealed that, except for road traffic accidents per 1,000 vehicles, road traffic accident fatalities per 1,000 vehicles, severity index and non survival index, there is a general upward trend in both the absolute and relative road traffic accident indices. Results of Student's t-test indicate that the differences observed in the trends are statiscally significant. Simple regression models have shown that change in time explains in differnt proportions the temporal variation in road traffic accident indices. In cases such as the number of road traffic accidents and casualties, change in time has explained over 90 percent of their temporal variation. In a few cases such as accidents and fatalities per 1,000 inhabitants, change in time has explained only a small proportion (less than 5 percent) of their variation. When ranked on absolute and relative indices of road traffic accidents. Nairobi, Central, Rift Valley, Coast and Eastern Provinces network are mainly found in Central, Rift Valley, Western and Nyanza Provinces. These locations are concentrated on the heavily trafficked roads such as Nairobi-Kisumu, Nairobi-Nyeri, Mombasa-Nairobi and Kisumu-Kakamega. The dangerous locations are found mainly at urbanisation explains 62.9 percent of the spatial variation in the distribution of the severity index and 77.1percent of the variation in fatality index. Urbanisation and population together explain together explain 92.4 percent of the variation in casualty index. Majority of respondents in a road user survey have rated road traffic accidents as a very serious problem. Using factro analsis, 39 variables or circumstances perceived as leading to road traffic accidents have been reduced to three significant factors. The first significant factor is the Road User Behaviour and Maintenance of Road Safety Standards that has accounted for 81.9 percent of the variance in variables and circumstances perceived as leading to road traffic addicents in Kenya. The third factor is Rare Events in the Physical Environment that h as accounted for 2.7 percent of the variance in variables or circumstances leading to road traffic accidents in kenya. This study has discussed major deficiencies in the road user system, reflected in the violation of traffic rules and basic principloes of good conduct on the road. Though the basic policy guidelines, institutional framework and measures to tackle road traffic accidents in Kenya exist, they are faced with a major problem of lack of commitment by key stakeholders. Other problems include financial constraints, poor coordination, ineffective enforcement and limited community involvement and limited community involvement. The overall recomendation emanating from the analysis in this study is that there is need for a sustaninable road safety strategy in Kenya that should go beyond the existing state of procrastination and symbolic actions. The most important elements in such a strategy should comprise of: High political concern and priority to effect theneeded changes in road safety measures, including provision of funds; an integrated approach at two levels; integration within the road safety system, and integration of road safety system and other systems; and an overall change in transport policy and practice in teh whole country that gives due and balaced consideration to tehneeds of all road users, especially the safety and mobility needs of pedestrians and cyclists.