Kenya’s road network suffers from insanity and the situation has been prevalent and very immune to any elements of change. From pedestrians being run over by overspeeding vehicles, matatus overlapping and using wrong lanes, driving under the influence of alcohol to road unworthy vehicles, it is definitely a struggle for the law to keep up with such grievous misconduct considering their magnitudes. Maybe a digital Zebra Crossing will save the day.
In a recent report by the National Transport and Safety Authority, the number of road crash victims this year surpassed that of last year, with 1192 victims of road accident reported as of May. The authority highlighted that pedestrians are still very vulnerable with 453 having lost their lives.
Nairobi Country government has now introduced digital zebra crossing to curb the number of victims being knocked down on the road by motorists and cyclist, particularly school children and people with disabilities especially the blind. In a pilot project that is underway, the country government will be digital zebra crossings all over the city.
” We are introducing the intelligent Zebra crossing, like the ones you see in other developed nations. This is the first one in Africa and we are starting from Nairobi and we have done about eight installations,” County’s Minister for Roads and infrastructure Hitan Majevda
How does it work?
With one installation on City Hall, County’s Minister for Roads and infrastructure demonstrated how the system will be operating.
“This is how it operates. You press and wait. You will see the blip has gone off, meaning there is a red signal. When the blip goes on, you can now cross as the green signal will be showing. The blip tells you to cross. You don’t have to read or see the traffic light signal the blip will tell you,” he explained.
The success of the pilot project is dependent on people adopting into the system faster and in huge populations, with pedestrians being the main target audience.
“This is a pilot if it works well and people adopt we want to do as many a possible. The main aim is to protect the pedestrians as we are aware that motorist like to behave like the road is theirs. Actually, the road belongs to the pedestrian. The biggest advantage will be to school children and people with disabilities particularly the blind. We have done the installation on City Hall, Parliament road, it’s still on trial basis,” he added.