A growing epidemic of road traffic crashes is devastating the next generation of children around the world. Every 30 seconds a person is killed in a road crash more than 3300 per day and over 1.2 million people per year dying in road crashes worldwide. As many as 50 million are injured. Vulnerable road users are particular at risk, especially children. 500 children die every day in road crashes. In many Asian, African, and Middle Eastern countries between 40 and 50 per cent of people killed as a result of a road crash are pedestrians.
In Kenya adults and children are killed every day as a result of road crashes, and tens of thousands are injured, often suffering lifelong disability.
According to NTSA (National Transport and Safety Association) statistics, as at 24th of August 2015 Kenya has had 7607 people who have been involved in road crashes. Out of this 1,899 have died, 2,869 seriously injured and 2,619 slightly injured. Pedestrians take a large number with a total of 1,651 of those involved in road crashes. Children fall under this category.
Children are vulnerable road users. Anywhere where there is a potential for moving vehicles is a potentially dangerous traffic situation for children. This is because:
Are easily distracted and focus on only one aspect of what is happening Are smaller and harder for drivers to see Are less predictable than other pedestrians Cannot accurately judge the speed and distance of moving vehicles Cannot accurately predict the direction sounds are coming from Are unable to cope with sudden changes in traffic conditions Do not understand abstract ideas - such as road safety Are unable to identify safe places to cross the road Tend to act inconsistently in and around traffic
ASIRT Kenya's interventions towards child safety include:
Having school based road safety campaigns and education/ training programs.
ASIRT Kenya partners with various schools that are near roads and have a record of children being involved in road crashes. The programs involve training of teachers, parents and students.
Kasarani primary School
The children and staff were trained on safe use of roads and given reflective sashes to promote their visibility on roads
1. Promote localized road engineering to keep children safe on their school journey
This involves mapping out areas near schools and on the school route that are crash prone and have recorded high numbers of crash incidents. These areas require signage and road calming measures like speed bumps and rumble strips. ASIRT Kenya advocates and engages the relevant authorities to push for modification of the environment. This is done by partnering with relevant authorities in the country
Kasarani primary school
With partnership with City Council, a zebra crossing was put on the road at the entrance of the school to facilitate the safe crossing of roads.
Encourage and assist parents in forming street crossing patrols for their children.
Through partnering with schools and having access to PTAs, parents are advised to teach their children about road safety. This is sensitization during parents meetings and other interactive school activities.
With partnership with Usalama Watch Initiative, a person was stationed at the road with a stop and go sign (lollipop) to stop traffic and allow children to cross the road safely
Help communities get organized as a key part of creating the long-term cultural changes that will keep children safer on the roads.
Through sensitizing of people in the community. Plays and skits are carried out during weekends and school holidays that emphasize road safety in a fun way that will engage the children and general public in the accident prone areas.
Use of reflective material to promote visibility
Upon completion of the sensitization program, we then issue reflective materials to the children to aid in making them visible when on the roads. These have included sashes, bags and bracelets.