Social media used to fight Kenya's traffic carnage
- Published on 20 August 2012
A social media initiative to teach road safety guidelines has been unveiled in Kenya.
The 'Kenya Road Safety Initiative', founded by entrepreneur Evans Muiru and actress Pierra Makena, uses Twitter and Facebook to make social media users pledge that they will attempt to do their part to reduce road accidents.
Muiru says they seek to restore 'sanity' on the roads in that country, which records one of the world’s highest numbers of road accidents every year.
According to statistics from the East African nation's government, approximately 3000 people died in road traffic accidents last year alone.
Moreover, the Kenya Red Cross estimates that the country has an average of 35 road crashes per day.
“I started #RSTT (Road Safety Tip Thursday) which happens every Thursday online to encourage people on Facebook and Twitter to share tips on road safety. If applied, these tips can go along way in saving lives,” said Muiru.
“Watch out for drivers talking on cell phones while driving and be aware that their driving skills are severely diminished, even greater than a drunk driver #RSTT,” read one of the tips posted on both Twitter and Facebook.
The tips offer motorists basic advice on how to use their indicators and mirrors, how to change lanes, anticipate the movements of pedestrians, watch out for animals and other drivers, and how to navigate safely on the nation's new eight lane highways.
“These tips can help them be more informed, aware and safer on the road. Not all road accidents are avoidable, but majority are,” he explained.
Muiru says social media is a cheaper option compared to doing newspaper or TV adverts to sensitise the pubic on road safety.
“The reason we started off with social media is because most Kenyans who are on social media interact with their followers even when driving. Our target is to reduce the number of road accidents and lives lost on the road,” said Muiru.