A TOTAL OF 473 people have died and 4 679 have been injured in 2 698 car accidents this year to date and as the festive season approaches, these figures are expected to escalate.
Everyone is urged to save the number 081 9682 on their cellphones. This is the Motor Vehicle Accident (MVA) Fund’s Accident Response Line for reporting accidents.
The statistics were released at the launch of the annual Xupifa Eemenyo ‘Save Lives’ campaign in Windhoek. The campaign was established in 2005.
Through the campaign the MVA Fund has educated the public with its ‘Don’t be a dummy’ advertisements and enhanced the medical response services with the recruitment of qualified paramedics, transport of accident victims to the nearest medical facilities and rehabilitation.
Police Deputy Commissioner Joseph Shikongo said during last year, 5 359 people were injured and 492 died in 2 902 accidents.
“These statistics show that there is no reversal to this trend this year. This is a matter of concern for all of us,” he said.
“Please refrain from inconsiderate, reckless driving and driving under the influence. Roadblocks will be set up across the country to monitor and maintain law and order,” he warned.
The permanent secretary of Works and Transport, Peter Mwatile, said young people between the ages of 15 and 35 accounted for 218 of this year’s road fatalities.
“Road crashes have now joined HIV-AIDS and malaria as one of the serious causes of deaths in our country. However, we will be unrealistically optimistic to bring about interventions, join resources to come up with comprehensive strategies to curb road crashes.”
The CEO of the MVA Fund, Jerry Muadinohamba, said he would like the Fund to “adopt” the National Road Safety Council or fund them in order to work closely together in curbing road accidents.
He added that the MVA Fund would in future focus more on the rehabilitation of accident victims instead of just paying out accident-related claims.