The National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) manager in charge of Road Safety Programs, Samuel Musumba has raised concerns about the potential challenges to road safety as the festive season ushers in a surge in travel across Kenya.

With the increased demand for transportation, as Kenyans prepare for Christmas festivities and the New Year, NTSA acknowledges the need for heightened awareness to address the risks associated with this busy period.

As travellers flock to bus stages, Musumba notes the challenges arising from the surge in demand for transport, particularly concerning road safety.

The potential use of alternative means of transportation, overcrowded buses, and unlicensed vehicles offering PSV services pose significant risks that require immediate attention.

"We note that a number of passengers will find themselves. Now even trying out to use alternative means of Transport in the event, but perhaps they miss out on the PSV vehicles," Musumba stated.

"That may be okay But the kind of transport that you choose to take at this particular time You must be very, very careful."

Among the highlighted risks are PSV operators taking advantage of the situation, carrying excess passengers, and operating on unlicensed routes.

The influx of unlicensed vehicles further compounds the challenges, along with concerns about drunk driving during the celebratory season.

In response to these potential hazards, NTSA has outlined a series of precautions to ensure the safety of all road users.

Musumba urged passengers to be vigilant in selecting their mode of transport, emphasizing the importance of avoiding unlicensed PSVs and refraining from boarding already full vehicles.

"Members of the public are cautioned not to board vehicles that are not licensed as PSV vehicles in fact, we call them illegal PSVs," Musumba cautioned

"We are also cautioning passengers to avoid boarding vehicles that are already filled to capacity, do not be that excess passenger. We note that at this particular time, you may find yourself being carried as an excess passenger. Please take precautions and don't board any vehicle which is already full."

Passenger safety measures were underscored, including the necessity of wearing seat belts throughout the journey.

NTSA also called on passengers to report any incidents that may compromise their safety, such as cases of drunk driving or reckless behaviour, to both NTSA and the National Police Service.

"Passengers we also encourage you to please report any incidences that may threaten your safety while you're traveling on the road," Musumba said.

"Our officers are on alert on the road and there will also be the National Police officers will also be on alert. Any incident that you notice please report. Cases of drunk driving, speeding drivers, reckless driving, please report such incidents to us and the national police service."

With plans to closely monitor road operations, NTSA aims to enforce speed limits and address compliance issues rigorously.

Travelers with children were reminded to prioritize their safety, while pedestrians were cautioned against walking under the influence and encouraged to use designated crossing areas.

"For pedestrians on our roads, try to be careful. We discourage you from walking if you are drunk, and walking on that road is actually even more risky for you. So don't walk on that road when you are drunk," Musumba warned.

"Always use designated areas for you to cross. Don’t cross at any point where you are not supposed to."

"Make sure you are also seen crossing the road. Wear clothes that people are able to see you in. Don't assume that drivers are seeing you, it may not be the case. Avoid also distracted walking while on that road don’t walk with your phone in your ears and in headphones and all that. Try to avoid as much as possible distracted walking as well," he added.

As the holiday season approaches, the NTSA manager extended warm wishes for a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, emphasizing the importance of ensuring the safe return of all road users, especially children heading back to school in the upcoming year.