Parliament Petitioned to Make Road Safety Branding Mandatory
By Blamuel Njururi – Nairobi, July 28, 2016
In pursuance of our Constitutional citizens right to participate in the Law-making process, I invite comments and observations about Road Safety Branding concept intended to enhance Safety on our roads for all users outlined in a Petition before Parliamentary Transport Committee.
There is no compelling reasons why those who manufacture or retail products and services that can or affect Road Use in the Automotive world should not advice consumers of their products of dangers that can affect their well-being or kill them the same way Pharmaceutical, Tobacco and Alcohol manufacturers are required by the law to advice their products consumers.
Deliberations and findings by the Parliamentary Transport Committee will form the basis for Amendments to the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) to make transport industry consumer information Mandatory on vehicles using Kenyan roads.
Herebelow is the Petition before the Parliamentary Transport Committee outlining the proposed consumer information format but the specific proposed amendments will be laid before the committee itself. All auto and petroleum industry players as well as others whose products and services can affect or influence use and safety on roads are advised to take keen interest of the proposed amendment intended to enhance their products consumers’ safety awareness.
RE: PETITION TO THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY SEEKING AMENDMENT TO NATIONAL TRANSPORT AND SAFETY AUTHORITY ACT TO INTRODUCE ROAD SAFETY BRANDING AND ESTABLISHMENT OF NATIONAL ROAD SAFETY INSURANCE FUND.
I, the undersigned Blamuel Njururi, am a Citizen of Kenya, resident of Nairobi, journalist by profession and Road Safety Consultant do hereby petition the House to cause amendments to the current National Transport and Safety Authority Act to provide for the understated;
Aware that Road traffic accidents, popularly known as Road Carnage, and the associated injuries are a major cause of death and disability around the world and that the 23-34 million people injured in road accidents annually, an average of 1.24 million die, which makes road accidents the ninth ranked cause of death in the world and the ranking is projected to rise,
Noting further that a majority of the deaths occur in developing countries and in Kenya, over 3,000 people die through road accidents every year, most of them in their prime ages of 15-45 years, there is urgent need to embark on new Road Use awareness strategy for the safety of millions of Kenyans exposed to Road Carnage menace daily to save lives and prevent financial losses amounting to billions of shillings annually,
Aware that the high cost of Road Carnage to the National economy and families is staggering and unacceptable, the objective of this petition is to humbly request our National Assembly to proactively amend the NTSA Act to legislate Road Safety Branding as the engine to drive innovative cost-effective Road Safety Awareness through corporate initiatives on products and services in order to advice consumers of roads-related products on the Best Road Use Practices. This is mandatory practice for Pharmaceutical, Tobacco and Alcoholic brews industries and many others are following suit.
Further I appeal to the August House to establish a National Road Safety Fund to compensate Road Carnage victims.
This foresighted petition seeks conformity with the Constitutional Consumer Rights and Protection provisions. Consumers of our rapidly expanding roads infrastructure should enjoy Road Safety Advisories like consumers of Pharmaceuticals, Alcohol and Tobacco industries.
Road Safety Branding will ensure that consumers enjoy the benefit of advisories on products and services by the Auto industry, Petroleum industry, accessories manufacturers, financing and insurance institutions and others providing such services as mobile telephony cautioning on the safe use of their products.
Proposals made to the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) to adopt and popularize Road Safety Branding for the benefit of Road Users because its Consumers who need advice and awareness on best methods of Road Use, have been ignored with NTSA preferring instead to chase its customers with alcoblows, speed cameras and punitive legal processes, which provide temporary shock treatment to motorists only. NTSA never responded to more than five (5) letters and Concept Papers.
This petition therefore seeks amendment to current National Transport and Safety Authority Act to provide for the following:-
Introduction of Road Safety branded advisories
In very simple terms Road Safety Branding is providing Consumer Safety Information on automotive, structural and other products that can affect or influence Safety on roads.
The NTSA along with Traffic Laws enforcement agents and firms that manufacture, retail or distribute products that can affect road use, should embrace Road Safety branding of their products and services to enhance Safety Awareness for all road users. That will essentially mean providing Road Users with Consumer Safety Information as per the Constitution.
Road Safety Branded products will include:
- Road Safety Symbol
Faced with ever growing incidents of Road Carnage and attendant social and economic losses Kenya should adopt a distinct Road Safety Symbol which all road users can identify and resonate with.
The symbol should be as set out here below:
- Road Use Advisories
- Driver “Safe Driving” and Defensive Driving Advisory Sticker
A lot of money is used pursuing punitive methods of enforcing Traffic Laws such as purchasing expensive speed detecting gadgets and cameras, removing number plates and arrests instead of advising motorists (some of them who have never gone to driving schools) on how to use the roads. Five basic Defensive Driving rules, dubbed “5 Golden Driving Rules” in stickers, billboards and indoor boards, as well as video clips, can change road users attitudes and save lives as well as huge amounts of save money.
- Road builders’ Road Safety-branded Boards.
- Traffic Check Road Safety-branded Boards.
- Commercial Vehicles Branding Regulations
Proposed Road Safety Commercial Vehicles branding regulation
The Authority should set up heavy commercial vehicles Road Safety Branding regulations as mandatory Law. The Branding regulation will establish guidelines for the use of reflective safety markings on heavy goods vehicles operating on our roads. The reflective markings should clearly outline the rear and sides of the vehicle, making the vehicle highly visible at up to 100 metres in low light conditions.
The markings need to be between 50mm to 60mm.
Research has demonstrated that outlining the contours of vehicles with high visibility safety marking tape significantly reduces the number of accidents involving long and heavy vehicles. The visibility of a vehicle is increased leading to a better safety record for vehicle operators and other road users.
A reduced accident rate means a reduced medical bills, insurance costs, repair bills, which equally saves national economic losses. It will also improve Kenya’s corporate image by having a better safety reputation and safety record as the United Nations implements the 2011-2020 Road Safety Action Decade and Kenya drives towards Vision 2030.
From the date of gazettement of the regulations, all newly registered vehicles which fall under certain vehicle categories operating in Kenya will need to be equipped with side and rear reflective markings which meet the requirements of Safety.
Kenya should lead other East African Community countries in introducing similar regulations for wider Road Safety where our drivers in transport industry operate. Markings application will be encouraged as soon as possible to help reduce accidents, save lives and show commitment to Best Driving Practices.
Vehicle categories that will be affected are:
- Vehicles designed and constructed for the carriage of passengers and goods and having a maximum weight exceeding 7.5 tonnes but not exceeding 12 tonnes.
- Vehicles designed and constructed for the carriage of goods and having a maximum weight exceeding 12 tonnes.
- Trailers with a maximum mass exceeding 3.5 tonnes but not exceeding 10 tonnes.
- Trailers with a maximum mass exceeding 10 tonnes.
- Commercial pick-ups, taxis and car hire vehicles
Where to apply the marking tape on trucks.
Rear of the vehicle view.
- A complete contour line marking (box) needs to be applied.
• The conspicuity marking should be as close as practicable to the edge of the vehicle and should equate to at least 80% of the overall width of the vehicle.
• Red and yellow marking tape only – reflective RED is the best preference for night and day visibility.
|Heavy Commercial trucks should be visible from all sides|
Side view of the vehicle.
- There are two options: a complete contour line marking (box) or a partial contour line marking (corner ticks)
- Partial contour markings are the minimum requirement
• The marking tape shall equate to at least 80% contour visibility at night:
• for motor vehicles, the length of the vehicle (excluding the cab)
• for trailers, the length of the vehicle (excluding the drawbar)
• The length of the upper corner marking tape must be a minimum of 50cm in each direction.
• Yellow and white marking tape only – yellow is the best preference.
Front of the vehicle.
- It is optional but advisable to use white marking tape on the front of the vehicle. That can alert oncoming motorists of the width of the vehicle on single lane roads.
- Oil and related industries branding
No vehicle can be on the road without fuel provided by the Petroleum industry, finance provided by banks and insurance by many firms as well as tyres and other accessories. It is desirable, indeed imperative, that all those firms provide consumer advisories to their customers – motorists and their passengers.
- Oil products branding illustrations
Road Safety Branded oil can and fuel pump
7. Mobile telephony providers
Firms dealing with mobile telephony, which has shown that motorists and pedestrians can be involved in fatal accidents while using their products and services, will be required to send regular awareness advisories to consumers of their products not to use them while driving, cycle riding or crossing roads.
8. National Road Safety Insurance Fund.
(1) There be established a Fund to be known as the National Road Safety Insurance Fund which shall vest in the Authority.
(2) There shall be paid into the Fund—
(a) Moneys appropriated by Parliament;
(b) The levy;
(c) Grants and donations made to the Authority; and
(d) Moneys from a source approved by the Authority.
(3) The Fund shall apply the moneys received to finance-
(i) Establish Public Compensation Insurance Scheme for hit-and-run and non-insured victims.
The scheme will be used to compensate road accident victims for death, injuries and loss.es of limps.
Insurance penetration in Kenya is very low and costs are high leaving thousands of Kenyans vulnerable victims of road accidents. Revenues accruing to the Authority and grants from organisations such as the UN Road Safety Fund will be in billions – enough to set up a “hit-and-run and non-insured” road accidents victims compensation scheme. The newly found Oil Industry windfall will be added advantage to the proposed Road Safety Fund.
(ii) Conduct research activities and audits on road transport safety;
(iii) Conduct continuous Road Safety education and awareness campaigns;
Currently Road Safety is treated like a seasonal charitable Christmas festivities event or traffic police crackdown when a major accident happens. Kenyans die on our roads on a daily basis and therefore there is need to conduct Safety Education on a continuous basis from January to December to make Road Safety awareness a Kenyan Lifestyle.
(iv) Fund non-Governmental and eligible organisations implementing Road Safety Education and mitigation activities, – Funding NGOs and other eligible organisations implementing Road Safety Education will ensure greater public participation and acceptance by consumers of Safety campaigns and products.
The Road Safety Branding, the proposed Safety enhancing products and the National Road Safety Fund sought by this petition are not pending before any court of law or other constitutional or legal body.
My prayer and I believe that of thousands of families and victims of Road Carnage in Kenya is that our Honourable National Assembly causes the inclusion to the current National Transport and Safety Authority Act, the proposed Road Safety Branding and establishment of National Road Safety Fund in order to broaden Safety Awareness on our roads and provide a financial safety net to cushion many victims unable to access treatment or insurance compensation after accidents.
The proposed amendments to the NTSA Act will generate revenue through sale of Road Safety Stickers commercial and private vehicles at registration and whenever they undergo Road Worthiness inspection and quality endorsement of auto accessories.
Long Live the institution of Parliament.
God Bless Kenya.
I welcome additional suggestions to improve Road Use Consumers Safety. Mail to: email@example.com