As we navigate through our daily commutes, it’s essential to be aware of the type of road we are driving on and understand the corresponding rules and regulations. In Kenya, road rules are often disregarded, leading to hazardous situations. Educating ourselves about road types and lane systems is crucial for a safe and sound driving experience.
Types of Roads
Metalled roads, commonly used across the country, can be further classified into five types based on the color and pattern of the line running through the middle. These roads are strategically planned by the Ministry of Road Transport to ensure the utmost safety for motorists.
- Broken White Line: The most prevalent road type in Kenya, indicated by a broken white line, allows for lane changes, overtaking, and U-turns. However, it is essential to ensure the road is clear and safe before performing these maneuvers.
- Continuous White Line: On roads marked with a continuous white line, overtaking and U-turns are not permitted. Drivers should maintain a straight course unless required to make a turn or avoid accidents. These roads are often found in hilly areas prone to accidents.
- Continuous Yellow Line: Continuous yellow lines allow for overtaking but only within one’s own lane. Crossing the yellow line is strictly prohibited for both directions of traffic. These roads are typically located in areas with limited visibility to emphasize staying on one’s side of the road.
- Double Continuous Yellow Line: Considered the strictest road type, a double continuous yellow line prohibits overtaking, U-turns, and lane changes from both directions. This pattern is typically seen on dangerous two-lane roads with a high potential for accidents.
- Broken Yellow Line: The most lenient road type on the list, a broken yellow line permits overtaking, U-turns, and crossing the line when safe to do so.
Another critical aspect often neglected by road users is the lane system. Lanes are designated for specific types of vehicles and are meant to be followed strictly.
Unfortunately, lane rules are frequently disregarded in Kenya, contributing to the rising number of road accidents, especially on highways. Educating drivers on proper lane usage is essential for the overall improvement of the country’s transportation infrastructure.
- Driving in Cities: In cities, vehicles drive on the left side of the road. The leftmost lane is reserved for slow-moving traffic, while the speed increases as you move towards the right lanes. Overtaking is done by signaling, checking the right lane for clearance, and smoothly changing lanes. When approaching a left turn from the leftmost lane, it is advisable to switch lanes in advance to avoid obstructing traffic.
- Driving on Highways: Highways pose a significant risk if not navigated correctly. Unlike city roads, there are no traffic signals on highways. Typically consisting of two or three lanes, the leftmost lane is for slower vehicles, the middle lane for medium speeds, and the rightmost lane for faster vehicles. When in the rightmost lane and a faster vehicle approaches from behind, signal to the left and allow them to pass before returning to the fast lane. Additionally, using high beams along with horn signals helps communicate with other drivers in high-speed situations.
Adhering to these road types and lane systems is crucial for ensuring personal safety and the well-being of others on the road. Regardless of the actions of fellow drivers, it is our responsibility to follow these structures and rules at all times. By doing so, we contribute to creating a safer driving environment for everyone.