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Body gives KeNHA a month’s ultimatum to remove guardrails along Thika Road.

The Road Safety Association of Kenya (RSAK) has given the Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) a one-month ultimatum to replace all guardrails along the Thika superhighway or face court action.

Led by their Chairman David Njoroge and Secretary General Wambugu Nyamu the association termed the rails as dangerous to road users and should instead be replaced with plastic ones.

Briefing journalists at the scene after inspecting guardrails at various sections of the road over the weekend, the officials blamed the accident “purely on human error” and said it could have been avoided.

“Apart from the governor these guardrails have killed so many other Kenyans and we as a safety association have raised the issue on various occasions. We have given KeNHA a month to remove them or we will go to court,” said Njoroge.

He argued that guardrails should be designed to deflect a vehicle back to the road, slow the vehicle down to a complete stop, or let it proceed past the guardrail.

Concerns have emerged over safety standards of guardrails mounted on highways countrywide following increased road accidents blamed on them – the latest being the death of Nyeri Governor Wahome Gakuru near Kabati on the Nyeri-Nairobi highway.

While guardrails are meant to save lives, it is worrying motorists that they are turning out to be killers on the highways, with police statistics showing an increased trend of such accidents across the country.

Tuesday’s accident is similar to another one in September on the Southern bypass in Kikuyu where three people died when a guardrail ripped through a saloon car.

Earlier, Peter Murima who heads the Motorists Association of Kenya said that the guardrails were poorly designed and outdated, and were the reason they claimed tens of lives. He added that the start of any guardrail there should be a bend.

He demanded an investigation on the part of the civil engineering department at the Roads Ministry.
Typical guardrails composed of steel plates, as it has now been proven, cannot guarantee the safety of motorists.

Softer guardrails protect drivers from shock and provide opportunities to save more lives. According to experts, the rolling barriers do more than absorbing impact energy.

They convert that impact energy into rotational energy to propel the vehicle forward rather than potentially breaking through an immovable barrier.

When a car hits the guardrail, the rotating barrel converts shock from the vehicle to rotational energy.
Upper and lower frames adjust tyres of large and small vehicles to prevent the steering system from a functional loss.

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