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Truckers to be tested for alcohol, sugar and pressure in new move.

The government wants long distance truck drivers to undergo several tests in a bid to curb road accidents.

The drivers, who will be enrolled for a wellness programme, will be tested for blood sugar, pressure and alcohol levels. HIV tests are voluntary.

Drivers caught drink-driving more than three times will be blacklisted.

Speaking yesterday during the launch of the wellness initiative, NTSA director general Francis Meja said the initiative has helped reduce accidents on the Nairobi-Mombasa highway. 'NTSA would like to encourage all long distance transport firms to sign up with Checkmate and enrol their drivers for the programme for the sake of road safety and the accruing individual behavioural benefits associated with the same,' he said.

The wellness initiative will enhance Checkmate, a road safety programme launched by Pioneer Road Safety Consultants last year, through NTSA.

Checkmate involves providing checkpoints and road patrol services, initially along the Northern Corridor from Mombasa to the Malaba border control post.

It provides random road patrol services on behalf of fleet owners and reports noncompliance or any issues that may compromise road safety. Checkpoints are also used as road safety training and information centres for drivers.

Checkmate was launched to address the key challenges of road safety, especially the lack of planned, monitored and evaluated trips among commercial road operators.

Checkmate

It has been documented that poorly planned and unmonitored road trips, especially for commercial operators, encourage many road safety lapses including speeding, that result in injuries and at times, fatalities.

Pioneer Road Safety Consultant in conjunction with the Swedish Workplace HIV-Aids Programme, through the Kenya HIV-Aids Business Council, launched the initiative at a stakeholders' meeting.

Meja said the adoption of the Checkmate solution for fleet managers along the Northern corridor will help reduce mishaps.

NTSA has identified 273 blackspots nationally, with 199 ( 72 per cent) in the Northern Corridor and 74 in Nairobi. The blackspots have increased from 166 in 2013.

In 2017, 2,919 people died in road crashes, a decrease of 1.6 per cent from 2016 ( 2,965 ).

The Northern Corridor accounted for 42.6 per cent of the fatalities.

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Publication:The Star (Nairobi, Kenya)
Geographic Code:6KENY
Date:Aug 21, 2018
Words:408
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