Long long ago (very long ago) when i was a kid used to hear a programme that used to air on KBC swahili radio. Back in the day there were no other FM stations and so huddled around the radio in the evenings after supper to listen to this program that had a song in between the breaks that went like ”Dereva…..derava….chunga maisha! Angalia barabara…” Memory fails me on the entire wording of the song, but it was so catchy, i remember it to date!
Headlights are a crucial part of the car more so where night driving is involved. They enable you to see far and wide at night and in tunnels. Bila headlights, night driving is impossible.
Here in Kenya, night driving is another story altogether. Infact, which driving school teaches night driving in Kenya? Sidhani kunayo! Kama iko tujulishe tafadhali. Because if there was a place they taught night driving, people would not behave so inappropriately at night.
This remains one of the main cause for accidents at night. As it happens, the driver ”huchomwa” by the headlights of the oncoming traffic forcing them to stray off the road.
It has happened to me indeed. Oncoming lights glare forced me to slightly stray off the road hitting a massive pothole that deformed the alloy rim of my car. Eventually i had to do away with tubeless tyres for tubes as much as i did not want to.
Many people just do the normal driving school, get the driving licence and the next thing they are driving at night. This is the cause for the many times you get serious headlights glaring at you as you drive at night with oncoming traffic.
Road courtesy dictates that you dim your lights as you approach oncoming traffic atleast 200 meters before you meet the oncoming traffic. As you pass the oncoming traffic its best then to resume full headlights if there is no oncoming traffic.
Kenyan night driving culture is different. Alot need to be improved upon.
This needs to be done by sensitizing all road users on the proper night driving ettiquette. Last Friday as i went home took a couple of pictures to illustrate this issue. The picture on the right shows a serious full beam glare from an oncoming car. From the drivers seat, it becomes difficult to estimate the width of the car as well as seeing the edge of the road. The next probable thing to happen would be to edge further to the left side of the road. Such an action comes with its risks. There is a chance that you could hit a pedestrian should they be walking at the edge of the road or even other road users such as a motor bike rider. You also risk hitting a pothole or the road kerb which could seriously damage the wheels to your car.
As seen on the picture to the left, with dimmed lights, the driver of oncomming traffic are able to see the oncoming car as well as other road users on their way/lane.
We therefore encourage road users to adopt proper road ettiquette. Any road driver will tell you that having lights that are dimmable at night is important as once in a while they meet a ”jangili” A ”jangili” other than being your ordinary gangster is the term some friends of mine refer to night drivers who put full glare of lights on oncoming traffic.
Lets save lives! Lets use the road well more so sasa Thika road inaenda kuisha.
Mpaka waraka utakaofuatia!
Ni mimi wako Sam!