- Kenya’s Cabinet minister, Robinson Githae, says traffic jams cost the East Africa’s bread basket about Sh29 billion (US$389,9 million) annually.
According to a statement issued during the observance of the World Town Planning Day celebrations, the minister said motorists were losing the money on increased fuel consumption, lost opportunities due to the time spent in traffic congestions, while cases of environmental degradation were also increased.
Mr Githae said although the road traffic rules imposed on motorists were meant for safety, they had also adversely impacted negatively on the mobility and accessibility of the Central Business District by public transportation.
“The rules forbid passengers to stand while transiting in public service vehicles, while also requiring them to fasten their seat belts while seated in transit,” he said, stating that the rules have increased the passengers’ embarking and disembarking time as well as reducing the number of passengers transiting in high capacity vehicles within the CBD.
The statement said the Nairobi Metropolitan region ministry is holding consultations with their counterparts in the Transport ministry in a bid to amend this rules. “We are proposing that buses and other public service vehicles with a high capacity be allowed to carry standing passengers,” the statement read.
However, officials have urged the government to consider allocating additional funding to the 175 local authorities countywide to enable their planning departments to improve infrastructure along major cities.
More than 3,000 people are killed each year on Kenyan roads, making it among countries with the highest accident rates in the world, according to government statistics.
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