FESTIVE SEASON ROAD SAFETY CAMPAIGN LAUNCHED
A road safety campaign during this time has become a critical intervention to save lives on the national road network.
In preparation for the expected increased road activity, the MVA Fund, National Road Safety Council and the Namibian Police jointly launched the ‘Festive Season Road Safety Campaign’ in Windhoek, under the theme Mind The Consequences of Speeding.
This campaign will focus on road safety awareness, intensified law enforcement and improved emergency medical response services.
The campaign is aimed at achieving a reduction in crashes, injuries and fatalities, through targeted action against the common road offences such as speeding, drinking and driving, overloading and unfit vehicles, which are the leading causes of fatal road crashes in Namibia.
As part of the campaign, law enforcement operations will be increased and stringent measures that will ensure adherence to traffic regulations will be deployed through close monitoring at road blocks, increased highway patrols and air patrolling.
Launching the campaign on behalf of Honorable Erkki Nghimtina, Minister of Works and Transport, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry Peter Mwatile, said in order for Namibia to achieve tangible and sustainable results, the success of the campaign lies in the hands of each and every road user. “We all individually and collectively need to realize the devastating consequences of speeding. I would like to encourage every Namibian to make a personal contribution towards saving lives this festive season by pledging to obey all traffic regulations and thereby taking personal responsibility of their own safety on the roads,” said Mwatile
Mwatile further urged law enforcement agencies to ensure that all those who make themselves guilty of transgressing set traffic regulations must feel the full wrath of the law.
Mwatile applauded the MVA Fund and the National Road Safety Council for the bold step they took to combine resources, skills and experience to tackle this pandemic on wheels as one team, united for a common cause.
In her closing remarks, Rosalia Martins-Hausiku, Chief Executive Officer of the MVA Fund
Stated that in order to achieve sustainable solutions, we must adopt a holistic, multi-pronged approach covering all related aspects such as public education, emergency response, law enforcement and road design to mention but a few. “This is therefore a manifestation of the resolve by our two organisations to improve our approach towards safer roads,” Martins-Hausiku stated.
Welcoming the quests to the launch, Eugene Tendekule, Executive Secretary of the National Road Safety Council said, the idea is to have a unified programme combining education, communication and enforcement. “This means to maximize the complimentary effect that we hope to achieve in our quest for a deep rooted safety culture and long lasting attitude change,” said Tendekule.
Over the last five years, Namibia recorded around thirteen thousand (13 000) accidents in which over 2000 people lost their lives and over 21 000 were injured. The year 2012 recorded the highest number of injuries and fatalities comparatively in the last five years, with 3547 accidents and 561 fatalities. The MVA Fund Call Centre also indicates that a total of 94 persons died in road crashes during the 2012/2013 Festive Season, which represents the highest fatality rate in the last five years.
Of note is that so far this year, over 540 people have already lost their lives on our roads.
Furthermore, trends have consistently indicated that the young (16-35) are over-represented in road traffic fatalities. According to statistics collated by the MVA Fund, 203 young people were killed in crashes while 2377 were injured in 2012. Therefore, this year’s festive season campaign will feature targeted interventions specifically for this age group.
The Deputy Inspector General, Major General James Tjivikua cautioned drivers from speeding as if they were on race tracks. “The Namibian Police is ready to apprehend all traffic rules offenders this festive period,” Tjivikua said.
This year, the campaign is rolled out with the generous support of long standing and new partners in road safety such as Namibia Institute of Pathology (NIP), FNB Namibia, Standard Bank of Namibia, SAIF, Namibian Defense Force, E-med rescue 24, Namibia Breweries Ltd (NBL) and Trentyre.