No Bad Drivers Only Bad People

by on Jan.07, 2014, under Leadership

It is amazing how a lie or half-truth has been peddled by so many people for so long that Kenyan drivers are bad drivers. I have observed the so called bad drivers reverse in the narrowest of places; I have seen them dare to pass where a less skilled person can never attempt. I mean, by all standards these drivers have the knowledge, skills and are daring. They know that speed kills and they understand all the road signs. They do not just obey the laws. They prefer impunity. We have built a country that runs on impunity from the students who steal exams at school, to the national leaders who obey the laws selectively and drivers who disregard the traffic laws.

If these drivers are ordered to redo the driving test, they are likely to do the 3-point turn with ease, they are likely to recite all the traffic signs and as well as pass all the table tests. The thing is that Kenyan drivers are good drivers but they are bad people. Any person or institution that may be interested in improving road safety in Kenya should embrace other safety measures rather than redoing of the driving test. The driving test is good for first time licensees; whether it is a solution for experienced drivers behaving badly is subject for debate. Yes, we need to improve our driving tests and eliminate corruption for the first time licensees but for experienced drivers the solutions lie elsewhere.

It is known to all people with a conscience that you cannot do the same thing the same way and expect different results, as such Kenyans need to desist from turning to easy and temporal solutions for the problems that befall us. We need to do the difficult things if we want our nation to change for better. One of these is behaviour change, but since it is a difficult thing to do, we look for easy things to do and end up wasting tax payers’ money year in year out.

Behaviour change should help the drivers to value life more than money; behaviour change should help the police to refuse bribes when the drivers break the law. Behaviour change will ensure that only qualified drivers get driving licenses. Behaviour change will teach Kenyans to treat others with courtesy and have some patience on the road and elsewhere. Behaviour change will promote the rule of the law and patriotism hence the end of this road menace.

Kenyans should not offer corrective surgery to a patient who needs an urgent radical surgery. If cosmetics are applied to this perennial problem we will only have the same problem recur.

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