On-demand transportation platform Bolt on Wednesday equipped over 300 boda boda riders on its platform with safety kits. The move, the firm says is a way to support, improve, and promote road safety among the riders within Nairobi.
The event, which was graced by officials from the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA), saw the Boda-boda riders issued with 350 branded helmets, 700 reflector jackets, and 400 first aid kit boxes. The event also provided a platform for Bolt to reiterate its commitment to ensuring the safety of its riders and passengers, and highlighting the safety features available on the Bolt platform. The exercise aimed at ensuring that the Boda-boda riders provided safe, affordable, reliable and efficient road transport services whilst reducing road accidents.
This initiative was in support of the National Government Boda-boda Rider Training Programme launched in February 2021 by The National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) to address the increasing road safety challenges in the Boda-boda sector.
“We are working daily to ensure that boda-boda riders on the Bolt platform are providing safe, reliable and efficient services as they ferry passengers from one point to the other. This is a very crucial exercise for us and we are glad to see the Boda-boda riders on our platform fully kitted and equipped with life-saving gear. We are pleased to continue to be part of this great initiative and to support the NTSA in making this Programme a success,” said Linda Ndungu, Country Manager, Kenya at Bolt.
According to statistics from the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) issued in July 2022, the total number of road accident victims stood at 2,696 compared to 2,490 lives during a similar period in 2021. The fatalities in 2022 include 957 pedestrians, 741 motorcyclists, 471 passengers, and 245 pillion passengers. A total of 247 drivers, and 35 pedal-cyclists also lost their lives in the seven months from January to July 2022.
Speaking after the training session, Samuel Musumba from NTSA commended the programme as a positive gesture towards reducing road traffic accidents and equipping Boda-boda riders with gears that will help them stay safe while on the road.
“Many Boda-boda riders are not fully aware of the traffic regulations, hence the recorded high cases of accidents on our roads. We appreciate that Bolt is investing in this exercise as it supports the national government’s initiative towards training and equipping the boda-boda riders. This is a great step towards dealing with the safety issues affecting Boda-boda riders, whilst helping reduce the number of accidents on the road,” said Samuel Musumba, the Safety Program Director at NTSA.
As part of the initiative, Bolt says will continue to work closely with NTSA, and other relevant authorities towards promoting road safety and supporting the government Boda-Boda training program.
In 2021, Bolt donated over 120 Boda-Boda safety gear items including helmets, reflective jackets and First-aid kits to NTSA and NYS. This was part of the company’s contribution, and support to the National Boda-Boda riders training and certification conducted by National Youth Service (NYS), NTSA, the Ministry of Interior & Coordination of the National Government and the Ministry of ICT. Bolt also offered onboarding opportunities on a priority basis to the Boda-Boda riders who completed the NYS training.
Bolt is committed not only to general road safety, but also to the personal safety and wellbeing of everyone using the platform. The Bolt platform has several safety features for drivers, riders and passengers. These include an emergency SOS button, and a Share your Estimated Time of Arrival (ETA) function that provides emergency medical or security services; tracking options and improved auto location, thereby bolstering safety throughout the lifecycle of any trip on the platform.