Toyota Kenya partners with NTSA to enhance road safety
Yamaha Motorcycle Assembler and distributor Toyota Kenya has partnered with the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) and the Kenya Police Service to offer enhanced safety training to motorcycle riders. Toyota Kenya through the Yamaha Riding Academy rolled out the specialized training with the Kenya Police Service being the first beneficiary.
Yamaha Division General Manager Mr. Augustine Juma says the training is aimed at enhancing riding skills among motorcycle riders to curb the growing number of road accident fatalities associated with poorly trained riders
‘The Kenya Police Service through its Traffic department is the go to authority on road usage and has the additional responsibility of administering examinations to all categories of road users. It is therefore befitting that we begin our training by equipping them with the skills to enhance safety among riders and to train road users.’ The Toyota Kenya MD Mr. Sachio Yotsukura said.
Yamaha, which is a division of Toyota Kenya, is also looking to certify Boda Boda riders to act as trainers and road safety Ambassadors. Toyota Kenya Managing Director Mr. Sachio Yotsukura said that all stakeholders within the cycling industry must continue to invest in the enhancement of safety to ensure that all road users are protected.
‘While our products come equipped with various features to ensure the safety of motorcyclist, we cannot ignore the most important factor of all; the rider. It is our responsibility as manufacturers to ensure the safety of our customers, in this regard Yamaha through the Yamaha Riding Academy will extend free training opportunities for Boda Boda operators and will work with the NTSA to enhance the quality of training available to Boda Boda operators and their trainers.’ Mr. Yotsukura said.
According the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA), the number of fatalities resulting from Motorcycle related road accidents increased by 23% in the first half of 2016 with a total of 283 Kenyans losing their lives, while an additional 321Kenyans suffered from serious injuries. NTSA Director of safety John Muya said that the leading cause of accidents is due to inexperienced and untrained Boda Boda operators.
‘We have registered over 800,000 motorcycles in the country 90% of them are boda bodas 70% of whom are not formally trained. While the number of motorcyclist across the country continues to grow, we are concerned that most of them remain untrained and ill equipped to handle the motorcycles. Most of them rely on peer training after which they take to the roads without any additional road user or safety training. This has resulted in an increase in the number of fatal accidents.’ Mr. Muya said.
NTSA has already developed new regulations for cyclists and is developing a new curriculum for instructors of motorcyclists to enable them train and certify boda boda operators.
To remedy the situation Yamaha Kenya intends to train and certify Boda Boda operators to act as road safety champions and safety trainers for other operators. Under the initiative Yamaha through the Yamaha Riders Academy will also provide specialized safety training riding schools across the country and offer international safety accreditation for instructors with the aim of enhancing road safety.
The Boda Boda subsector has been identified as one of the fastest growing sources of employment within the locally economy. The sector’s annual tax contribution is estimated at over Ksh. 2.2 billion with daily revenues estimated at over Ksh. 400 million.