Kenya threatens to charge jaywalkers with attempted suicide

NAIROBI (AFP) - Kenyan road safety authorities have threatened to charge injured pedestrians with attempted suicide in a bid to halt a rise in road accidents in the east African nation.

The warning came as police revealed road fatalities were up 10 percent this year, with jaywalkers accounting for nearly half those killed.

"We are contemplating harsher sentences for pedestrians who cross roads at undesignated places, including charging them with attempted suicide," Kenyan road safety chief Francis Meja was quoted as saying by the Nation newspaper.

Attempted suicide is a crime in Kenya and punishable by up to two years in prison, a fine, or both.

Kenya's accident black-spots are around the capital Nairobi, mainly on the increasingly congested major highways leading into the capital.

Meja admitted the biggest causes of fatalities were "speed and inadequate pedestrian facilities".