CON­TRAC­TORS CUL­PA­BLE FOR ROAD AC­CI­DENTS

Nairobi Law Monthly - - You Wrote Us -

An ac­ci­dent is one of the ugli­est scenes any­one can wit­ness on our roads. Those in­volv­ing mo­torists knock­ing down ei­ther pedes­tri­ans or cy­clists have par­tic­u­larly been more fre­quent and nasty. Of­ten, the two “camps” – pedes­tri­ans/cy­clists on the one hand and mo­torists on the other – have traded end­less blame as to who car­ries more re­spon­si­bil­ity. While pedes­trian and cy­clists have re­lent­lessly ac­cused driv­ers of speed­ing, driv­ers have of­ten blamed their ac­cusers of cross­ing road care­lessly and chang­ing di­rec­tion sud­denly and with­out warn­ing. Iron­i­cally, the role of road con­trac­tors rarely finds men­tion in this de­bate! Road con­struc­tion com­pa­nies, es­pe­cially, those re­spon­si­ble for Class C and D roads, of­ten de­clare their work “com­plete” even when it is clearly not, and get paid for shoddy jobs done. How, for in­stance, can a com­pany pull out of the site with­out erect­ing rel­e­vant road signs and safety mea­sures? Vi­su­al­ize this: a road gets tar­ma­cked, launched, and be­comes op­er­a­tional with­out erec­tion of speed bump or slow-down signs, or with­out white shoul­der and yel­low cen­tre-line signs be­ing marked! Such lax­ity trans­lates into a not only to an eco­nomic of­fence (crime) but mass grad­ual mur­der of thou­sands of in­no­cent lives through avoid­able tragic car­nage! In re­sponse to such bla­tant neg­li­gence, the pub­lic has of­ten re­sorted to tak­ing mat­ters into their own hands by erect­ing dan­ger­ous speed bumps when­ever an ac­ci­dent oc­curs. In as much as such mob ac­tion seems jus­ti­fi­able at face-value, a view through le­gal eyes re­veals that such an ac­tion is un­law­ful. The law pro­hibits unau­tho­rised mod­i­fi­ca­tion of any pub­lic fa­cil­ity, roads be­ing part of them. Like­wise, such ac­tions are counter-pro­duc­tive as at­tested to by the qual­ity of the re­sul­tant work. The ridge-like moun­tain bumps un­pro­fes­sion­ally made are more of a safety haz­ard than safety mea­sure. It is high time that NTSA and other roads safety stake­holder’s took over to task such cow­boy con­trac­tors in or­der to re­duce the rate and sever­ity of road ac­ci­dents.

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