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In Kenya, safe driving is entirely optional
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  • The expatriate always wonders whether the government shouldn’t just give powerful missile launchers to law-abiding drivers
  • This is so that they can bazooka-blast ‘overlappers’, freewheelers and other offenders

The expatriate is a law-abiding non-citizen, and as such, he carries in his car’s glove compartment his home country’s driving licence and his Kenyan driving licence. 

Back in Britain or wherever he comes from, he would, even if he discovered its absence a full fifty kilometres into his journey, turn back to pick up his driving licence, even though the chances of being asked to produce it in the UK are infinitesimally small.

Every manoeuvre he made would be preceded by a glance at the mirror and the initiation of the correct signal, and he would always give way properly at junctions. 

This might be one of the reasons why the road accident statistics in the UK are so small, while in Kenya, they are as big as the figures betting companies claim they pay out every week.

For in Kenya, safe driving is entirely optional.  Indeed, it is the case that out of every five trucks journeying down a Kenyan slope, six of them are freewheeling.  Only in Kenya can statistics be so irrational.

Theoretically, we have a body, the NTSA, which ensures that our roads are safe.  They drive green cars and are equally green, it seems. 

Haven’t they noticed that as vehicles approach their checkpoints, drivers signal each other as if to say, ‘NTSA are here’, at which point the drivers travel safely for about a hundred metres until the green cars are out of sight; then, they drive again like chariots in a Ben Hur movie.

I’d suggest that instead of sitting still, the NTSA affix simple electronic signboards to their car boots so that they can drive in front of offending vehicles – cars moving slowly in the ‘overtaking lane’, for instance – and flash up that vehicle’s registration number and the relevant message: ‘KBX 374Y, move to the slow lane’; ‘KCA 294B, slow down to 80kph’.

Then, on a subsequent warning for the same offence, drivers get cautioned.

Or something of the sort.  Of course, this can never happen, because Kenyans, being more interested in litigation than they are in staying alive, will challenge such a thing in the courts.

In the absence of such methods, the expatriate always wonders whether the government shouldn’t just give powerful missile launchers to law-abiding drivers so that they can bazooka-blast ‘overlappers’, freewheelers and other offenders.  It would solve a problem.

Let’s cut out the police and NTSA as middlemen and instead just go straight to direct and effective action.  And an expatriate or a law-abiding citizen is much less likely, it seems to me, to lose his bazooka than a policeman is likely to lose his gun; or so recent newspaper articles suggest.

Recently, ‘Lollipop Men’ have sprouted in our urban centres to protect pedestrians crossing roads.  If we can afford this, then surely we can afford a few life-saving missile launchers. 

And we’d no longer have to call those numbers on the backs of dangerously-driving trucks to tell them how rubbishy they’re driving; and which never, anyway, get answered.

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