MVA FUND URGES POSITIVEROAD SAFETY CULTURE AMIDST COVID
The MVA Fund expresses concern over the recent collisions, pedestrian-related and roll-over crashes accounting for 50% of pedestrian deaths on Namibian roads, more especially from 19 -26 July 2020despite a significant decline in the number of crashes, injuries and fatalities experienced during the first half of the year (01 January –July 2020)as compared to the same period during the last two years(2018 and 2019).
Most of these fatalities were recorded in the Khomas, Oshikoto and Kavango East regions.
While Covid-19 cases are on the rise nationwide, people are moving and thus making vulnerable road users more susceptible to pedestrian-related crashes, injuries or death. Therefore, MVA Fund’sChief Executive Officer, Rosalia Martins-Hausiku urges the public against unnecessary movement on the road and especially those related to social activities during weekends, because one life lost is one too many.
Contrary, this latest development comes against the backdrop of a positive road safety trend in the first half of this year. Data collected by the MVA Fund’sEmergency Call Centre indicates an average decrease of 14%, 15% and 14% respectively for crashes, injuries and fatalities, as compared to to2018 and 2019.
Furthermore, a decline was observed from March 2020, with a major slump evident in April due to the nationwide lockdown because of Covid-19, which restricted travelling. Thus, the number of crashes reported during March 2020 is 59% less than the monthly average for 2020, whereas April fatalities were 60% below the monthly average for 2020.
The previous year, i.e. 2019, denotes a significant 8% reduction in road crashes compared to 2018. Therefore, other than the positive impact on crashes becauseoftheCovid-19 pandemic, Martins-Hausiku attributes the decrease in road crashes and subsequent injuries to improved road safety partner engagement and collaboration. Similarly, effective use of available resources extended campaign periods and improved road user behaviour over the years goes a long way to ensure that Namibia as a nation is part of the success stories in respect to the implementation of the Namibian Chapter of the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011 -2020.
In line with its statutory obligations and in order to maintain this positive road safety outlook, the Fund will aggressively use its social network platforms to educate the public on its mandate. Simultaneously, the Fund will continue to enhance customer experience through tailored services and empower its claimants to return to a meaningful life. The Fund reminds the public to report road crashes to the MVA Fund’sAccident Response Number 081 9682, as doing so can save a life.