(Xinhua) -- The Kenyan government has
launched a command center tasked with coordinating traffic and
crime management using digital close circuit television (CCTV)
cameras in Nairobi.
The Chinese government-funded
digital system will control Nairobi traffic by installing new
lights with countdown timers to free up the number of police
officers who control roundabouts and junctions across the city.
The police said the use of CCTV
will have a huge impact in traffic management in Nairobi as well
as in arresting traffic offenders who have been overlapping and
thus cause accidents in the city.
County traffic commander Edward
Mwamburi told Xinhua on Tuesday that the command center which
was launched by President Uhuru Kenyatta on Monday will also
enable the police to reduce traffic jams in Nairobi.
new command center will have a major impact in terms of traffic
jam reduction and also in nabbing traffic offenders around
Nairobi. We have installed CCTV all over major roads in Nairobi
and also trained police on how to use them,” Mwamburi said.
Mwamburi said the lights will be
synchronized in such a way that the operators in the control
room can control the flow.
integrated camera and traffic lights system in Nairobi is the
first step in the new battle to bring sanity to a chaotic
transport sector and address a number of crimes.
The project follows a
98-million-dollar grant from the Chinese government which was
provided in May 2012 for installation of CCTV in major cities
and towns around the country which came in the wake of sustained
The number of accidents has
increased significantly due to motorbikes. According to police,
cyclists account for 10 percent of all road fatalities.
A survey released recently by
research firm Ipsos-Synovate indicated that most accidents in
the East African nation occur because road users have little
regard for traffic rules.
The researchers noted that some
motorists drive on the wrong side of the road, in what is known
in local parlance as overlapping, to avoid traffic jams.
On the other hand, the study
observed many passengers do not question the driver when he is
The command center has 80 screens
and a number of telephone lines, which the officers manning it
will be using to coordinate operations in the city.
More than 51 cameras have been
installed within the city enabling live video streaming as well
as recording for future necessities.
Efforts to curb road accidents
saw Kenyan legislators pass laws to ensure traffic offenders get
stiffer penalties that include life sentence for motorists who
cause death by dangerous driving and a jail term of up to ten
years for anyone found to be driving while drink.
Inspector general of police David
Kimaiyo said the new traffic lights will capture the happenings
at the junctions and any traffic offenses.
will capture speeding vehicles through number plate recognition
and other criminal activities at selected areas,” said Kimaiyo,
adding that the surveillance system has also been fitted with
smart cameras that will record faces of people.
offenders be aware because now we are watching almost every
corner and we hope to reduce various crimes by a big margin. It
will have an impact on the city, which has been grappling with
attacks linked to different crimes including terrorism and daily
He further explained that the
cameras will be on for 24 hours and urged motorists to
familiarize themselves with traffic regulations and strive to
cameras will be on-line 24/7, and whether it’s in congested
traffic jam, free flowing traffic or late at night. Evidence for
any traffic offense will be there in digital format, and
probably if the court says so, printed on paper,” he said.
He said the project will further
be rolled out within estates within Nairobi to curb the rising
cases of insecurity. The project will be replicated in other
urban towns in the country.
The camera system will be used as
a crime-fighting tool and where a vehicle is suspected to have
been involved in criminal activity, it will have its
registration plates circulated by police.
Ex-Kenyan leader urges motorists to observe traffic rules
NAIROBI, Dec. 10 (Xinhua) --
Former Kenyan president Mwai Kibaki on Tuesday called on
motorists to strictly adhere to traffic rules in order to curb
accidents that are claiming many innocent citizens.
Speaking during the official
opening of the Nairobi Western Ring Road, Kibaki said road
accidents cannot be curbed by the government without the
concerted efforts from all Kenyans.
will take the collective resolve of Kenyans to curb reckless and
drunken driving. It is you and I who should remind public
transport operators and especially PSV drivers that they owe
Kenyans the duty to drive them safely,” he said.
The police statistics show about
3,000 people died while thousands others have been injured in
road accidents across the country since the start of 2013.The
accidents are mostly caused by both public and private vehicles,
motorcycles, motorbikes and pedestrians.
The unruly drivers of public
transport vehicles especially matatu (minibus) operators and
corrupt traffic police officers are often cited as one of the
Speaking in Nairobi, Kibaki said
traffic laws are enacted to regulate the behaviors of motorists
on the roads and must be adhered to ensure safety of all road
is therefore absolute important that all of us respect and
observe these rules for our own good as Kenyans,” he said.
The retired president reminded
Public Service Vehicle (PSV) operators that they owe Kenyans
safety to their various destinations at all time. He said road
accidents cannot be curbed by the Government without the
concerted efforts from all Kenyans.
Kibaki said matatu drivers have
no right to endanger the lives of members of public because of
their misplaced daring antics on the road.
He said the tremendous
infrastructural development especially in roads in the country
should not be turned to death traps. Former President said the
official opening of the Western Ring Road will offer a relief by
decongesting city roads.
Kibaki said the construction of
the project financed by the Japanese government through the
Japan International Co-operation Agency (JICA) shows
Government’s commitment towards providing quality roads to
support the country’s Vision 2030.
Transport and Infrastructure
Cabinet Secretary Engineer Michael Kamau said the commissioning
of the road marks a major milestone in the government’s effort
to decongest the Nairobi central business district.