Namibia Economist (Windhoek)

Namibia: Road Safety Talks About Careless Drivers

Members of the road safety fraternity gathered in Swakopmund this week for the 3rd Annual Road Safety Conference. The conference was organised by the National Road Safety Council with the main objective to solicit input from stakeholders about the future management of road safety.

Speaking on behalf of Deputy Minister of Works and Transport, Kilus Nguvauva, the chairperson of the Erongo Regional Council, Hafeni Ndemula said that an investigation by the High Level Committee of Ministers in the causes of road crashes established that Khomas, Otjozondjupa, Oshana and Erongo Regions account for the majority of road crashes.

He said million of dollars are lost in compensating or treating road crash victims, money that could have been put to better use.

"As Namibia aspires to become industrialised by 2030, every dollar should be put to the realisation of this noble goal. In many sectors all over the world, there is a growing recognition that cross-sectoral partnerships between business, government, faith and civil society organisations offer the possibility of more innovative and sustainable solutions to most developmental issues such as death and injury on the road as a consequence of rapid motorisation," he said.

Nguvauva further urged members of the road safety fraternity to enter into agreements with each other to ensure that resources geared towards road safety are well spend and duplication of effort is eliminated.

"There is an urgent need to better our performance through heightened synergy and smart partnerships between public and private institutions that in turn will lead to reduced fatality and injury rates in Namibia," he said.

The Governor of Erongo Region, Hon, Cleophas Mutjaviukua said there is a fundamental understanding that road traffic crashes and the resultant injuries have both social and economic cost implications to any nation.

"From this understanding it can be deduced that road crash injuries are a major social equity issue that calls for equal protection of all road users including non-motorised road users, hence the move towards a system that should account for the vulnerability of the human body. We must therefore endeavour as stakeholders to work together over the next few years to improve our road safety record in Namibia," he said.

George Simataa, Chairperson of the National Road Safety Council said he is worried that accidents and victims are increasing each year, with Africa and the rest of the developing world accounting for more than 80% of the total world road accident fatalities.

He said, it has been proven that more than 95% of road accidents are as a result of human error. Generally, the loss of lives and injuries result from not adhering to traffic rules and carelessness among road users.

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