Brakes urgently needed to stop road carnage

OUR Namibian roads are fast becoming a casual killer of our time. They killed yesterday. They are continuing to kill today, and surely they will kill tomorrow unless we mount accelerated counteraction to curb the rate at which we are losing our loved ones on these roads.

It is hard to comprehend that just over the past weekend, 23 people lost their lives in five separate road accidents, a situation that simply cannot be allowed to progress unabated.

For long, we have harboured character that believe only the authorities have to do something about it but we fail to acknowledge that from the onset, road traffic accidents are not going to be solved by the blame game, but by us as a nation pleading guilty as charged. The role of human urgency in the occurrence of road traffic accidents shows that we cause most of them and we need urgent character reform. If we do not reform, we are going to keep turning our roads into a traffic jungle and using articles of convenience like vehicles as killing machines.

There are many of us who will not utter a word of protest even when it’s evident that our very own lives are at risk. At worse, we claim to be in a hurry and urge the maniacal driver to ram the fuel pedal to the floor.

On the other hand, rarely do our drivers observe the speed limits indicated on the road. We love to “cheat” the police. As soon as we pass the roadblock, the speed demon takes over, until the next check point.

When we meet a speed demon hurtling towards a police roadblock, we flash him with our lights, rather the hazards. There is just no enforcement nor respect for road traffic rules in Namibia. The only good driver is a dead one. And every day people die, we are briefly shocked, and soon we are back to our old habits.

Extensively, this begs the following questions: Are traffic officers, police and other law enforcement agencies doing enough to end the road carnage? Do our courts impose fitting prison sentences for reckless and negligent drivers?

The visibility of law enforcement on the roads should be evident all the time, not only during special weekends and holiday peak seasons.

What happened to the Arrive Alive campaign? We only hear about it during these periods. This is a call to law enforcement to show no mercy to offending motorists.

Negligent driving must be duly punished and unroadworthy cars be taken off our roads.

Law and order must be restored. We have had enough as a nation.

In short, we all have a duty to stop the carnage on our roads. It has nothing to do with the state of the road, but the state of the human mind, our attitudes as drivers and pedestrians and passengers. We can tame the traffic jungle, or next time it is you in the coffin. Let’s all take responsibility and fight this unwarranted loss of life.