Boda-boda the leading cause of deaths in Bungoma, says OCPD
Written by Silas Kibet Kemboi
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Bungoma OCPD Amos Cheboi (pictured left) has blamed the rising cases of deaths to careless boda boda operators who are fond of flouting traffic rules thus causing many accidents.
Speaking at the youth empowerment centre offices in Kanduyi constituency, at a function organized to educate the boda-boda riders in Bungoma County on road safety, the OCPD said with the high rate of unemployment, boda boda business has grown fast as a means of transport and it employs a bulk of youth within the County.
“About 80 per cent of young people between 20 to 30 years old are earning a living by picking up and dropping off passengers but it is still the most unsafe mode of transportation,’’ he observed.
He insisted that every boda-boda rider must adhere to traffic rules such as having two helmets, insurance cover and a heavy jacket warning that they may suffer eyesight problems because of the wind and dust that blows directly into their eyes.
The OCPD cautioned riding without helmets or glasses may cause deterioration in their eyesight and also warned that long amounts of time spent on motorbikes exposes a rider’s reproductive organs to danger.
“When these guys sit on the boda-boda, they affect their reproductive organs. They sit on those things for a very long time in the same position, in the heat, in the cold, in all different conditions, and they are affecting their families. Riders also risk developing respiratory diseases because they do not wear jackets most the time,” Cheboi warned.
In the same function the Base Commander Bungoma South Patrick Mwinji said passengers are more often injured than riders, and women are more prone to motorbike accidents than men.
“More females are injured as boda-boda passengers than in road traffic accidents,” he noted.
“Ladies sit on the boda-boda in the wrong way; legs hanging on the side, the moment there is any impact on the motorcycle, they fall off. That’s why many passengers get fractures,” he added.
He also lamented that parents risk the lives of their children as they hire boda-boda riders to pick up and drop off their children at school in the morning and evening.
Mwinji said it is dangerous to put a child on a motorcycle and insisting it is the worst abuse of child’s rights.
The DO 1 Sylivester Mwangulu blamed the boda-boda operators for reckless riding at times squeezing their way in between vehicles during traffic jams, putting the lives of their passengers at risk.
Mr. John Masika the boda-boda Chairman Bungoma county and Mr. Martin Masika the chairman of Mteremko stage closed the function saying the injuries are preventable and would be less severe if riders wore crush helmets and promised give them more education on the same.
They accepted to develop a process to register all riders and their motorcycles, in order for law enforcement officials to follow them regularly.
The two said the riders are at risk being assaulted by criminals, especially at night, and added that thugs usually pose as passengers, and when the motorcycle reaches a dark corner, riders are hit with hammers and iron bars, cracking their skulls and take off with the motorbike and the day’s earnings a situation they wanted the police to improve on night crack downs
Boda-boda riders and representatives from Sangalo, Bulondo, Nalando, Mukhweya,Bukembe, Kabula, Sikata, Ekitale, Musikoma, Chebukwa, Mayanja and Kabuchai divisions attended the function.