By PISAI GUMAR
NINETY-five percent of road accidents are caused by driver error, the National Road Safety Council’s executive director, Frank Ao Aku, said last Friday in the Markham Valley.
Mr Aku was at the scene of last week’s bus collision with his senior engineer, Wilson Wariaka.
The council’s civil engineers measured the potholes that the PMV drivers of last Tuesday’s tragic crash tried to evade and tried to work out a hypothetical situation.
From his preliminary assessment, he speculated that “perhaps most passengers would not have died” if they had worn seat belts.
Because of the lack of seat belts, the impact had caused people to fly out of the windows, bump against each other and objects or seats breaking their necks, heads and bones, he said.
Mr Aku took the opportunity to caution all drivers that “on such straight road stretches, the speed limit is between 80kph and 100kph”.
He said the vehicles must have been speeding above 100kph when they collided.
The National Government has to seriously consider and ensure that all motor vehicles should have seat belts installed. For PMVs, seat belts will minimise chances of overloading, he said.
Mr Aku said the main factors that contributed to accidents included mechanical problems, bad road conditions and human (driver) error.
He said most of the human errors occurred because the drivers were not properly qualified.
“Most drivers throughout the country do not follow the proper process of getting their licenses,” he said, adding that they bribed traffic registry officers to get their licences.
Mr Aku was considering whether it was the potholes, the drivers’ misinterpretation or judgment of the lane or whether or not any of the drivers were intoxicated.
He also stressed the importance of seat belts.
“Wearing seat belts improves the chances of survival.
“In this crash, unlike the Hiritano Highway case, the impact of the crash immediately killed the people,” he said.
“The impact itself kills people in a split second,” he said, adding that wearing seat belts would have saved lives.