All public service vehicle passengers will now be required to don helmets, according to the new regulations released by the National Transport and Safety Authority.
In a bold new move to tame the rising cases of road accident fatalities, passengers will be required to wear helmets while the vehicle is in motion, lack of which will lead to hefty fines.
“We are doing everything possible to reduce the number of fatalities on the road and helmets can play a major role. Since it is impossible to get the matatu drivers to obey the law, we will have passengers wearing helmets to reduce the impact of accidents and make our roads safer.”
NTSA noted that while helmets do not prevent most of injuries, they play a major role in preventing head injuries which are usually fatal. “One can survive with broken limbs or a cracked backbone but for head injury, you will end up wasting time at Kenyatta National Hospital before dying anyway. This is why we need to secure the heads.”
It is not clear whether Kenyans will comply, just as it has been with seat belts or even wearing masks. However, NTSA is hopeful that the directive will be adhered to since it is very hard to fake. “In the case of safety belts, passengers only buckle up when they see the police. It will be different for helmets because the easiest way to carry a helmet is to wear it. Nobody would prefer to walk around carrying a helmet in order to wear it when police show up. They would rather wear it.”
The helmet requirement will also help reduce harassment by touts and nosey passengers since you can just head butt anybody who disturbs your peace.