School Reopening: NTSA Issues New Directives To Parents

NTSA exposed that the back-to-school season has witnessed multiple flouting of traffic rules...

School Reopening: NTSA Issues New Directives To Parents
NTSA officials inspecting a PSV vehicle. /FILE

The National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) has released new guidelines to curb fatalities stemming from road accidents as students return to school from the December holidays.

In a statement dated Monday, January 23, NTSA urged all motorists to ensure the safety of school-going children as the new academic calendar commences, which has been reverted to the pre-COVID-19 pandemic timeline.

In addition, NTSA exposed that the back-to-school season has witnessed multiple flouting of traffic rules which have led to road accidents that have had both fatal and serious injuries.

"The Back to School season in the previous years has recorded violations leading to both fatal and serious injuries among school children and it is the responsibility of motorists to prevent these unfortunate incidences.

High School students report to school accompanied by their parents in January 2018. /FILE

"We urge parents to use safe modes of transport to ferry children to and from school. Only compliant and roadworthy vehicles should be used," NTSA stated in part.

NTSA, through its free mobile app which features capabilities such as capturing the vehicles registration number, urged parents and guardians to verify;

  1. The registered name of the Sacco/Company/Institution
  2. Inspection status
  3. Licensed route
  4. Validity of the Road Service Licence

It is key to verify the information before the children board the vehicle.

The roads authority also urged PSV operators and school management to ensure that drivers and conductors tasked with carrying children are qualified and with valid badges.

"We also call upon all drivers and Boda Boda riders operating within school zones to adhere to the 30kph speed limit in line with the requirements of the law.

"Children are vulnerable road users due to their size and limitations in vision and hearing, it is therefore prudent for all road users to prioritize their safety," added NTSA.

On its part, the Authority through its flagship Usalama Barabarani Programme supported by the European Union continues to intensify sensitization on road safety awareness and education.

Thousands of schools across the country have benefited from the ongoing Lookout, Tuvuke Salama road safety campaign in partnership with corporates in which reflective Lolipop stop signs and reflective bag covers have been issued to schools along the high-risk roads.

NTSA added that plans are also underway to incorporate road safety into the school curriculum.

Students were scheduled to resume school on January 23, 2023. Form One candidates are expected to report to their new schools between February 6 to February 11, while Grade 7 students will report on January 30, 2023.

During the season of returning to school, children are exposed to the dangers of boarding vehicles that are not licensed to operate as PSVs, boarding full vehicles, not fastening their safety belts and having parts of their bodies outside the vehicles, which increase the likelihood of accidents.

In addition, drivers capitalize on the high demand by breaking rules such as overspeeding, carrying in excess or transport saccos and companies subjecting their drivers to longer working hours inclusive of more trips, which also puts the children at risk.

A crowd next to wreckage of a Kamiguru school bus involved in an accident along Nairobi - Meru highway. /TWITTER