Horrific 80 crashes recorded in 6 days

…as road carnage spikes by 266%

By Tracy Tafirenyika

A SHOCKING 80 crashes were recorded between November 30 and December 6 while the number of accidents in Namibia have spiked by 266 percent within a year, the latest figures released by the Motor Vehicle Accident (MVA) Fund and National Road Safety council (NRSC) show.

Statistics seen by Confidente relating to crashes recorded show a deplorable scenario with young males under the age of 30 dominating the numbers.

According to the combined MVA Fund and National Road Safety Council crash data, Oshikoto region claimed majority at 45 percent; 23 percent of the crashes occurred in Khomas region while 18 percent happened in Oshana.

Comparing the weekly crash statistics for 2020 to that of 2019, crashes declined by seven percent and injuries by 16 percent, however fatalities increased by 266 percent.

The report also reveals the number of crashes and fatalities as recorded per crash type during the week under review: collisions 33 percent, roll-overs 31 percent and crashes involving pedestrians at 18 percent. Roll-overs and pedestrian related crashes claimed the majority of fatalities reported with 36 percent each.

Speaking to Confidente, MVA head of corporate communication Ambrosius Tierspoor warned drivers to comply with the road traffic rules this festive season to save lives.

“Drinking and driving are the main cause of fatal road crashes in Namibia, during the festive season road users become very reckless sacrificing many lives on the roads. We will make sure that we have health workers on the road during this festive season to make sure that we test drunk drivers since we can use breathalysers during Covid-19”, he added.

The report further indicates that, despite road transport being the mostly widely used mode of transport in Namibia due to the fact that it is relatively a cheaper mode of transport as compared to others, it has also proven to be the most dangerous.

“It helps people to travel and carry goods from one place to another in places which are not connected by other means of transport. In road traffic it is us humans who make the difference between hazard and safety; with little keeping us from harm should we make a mistake.

According to MVA Fund CEO Rosalia Martins-Hausiku in her Christmas message, the festive season traditionally brings with it increased flow of traffic on roads as citizens travel to their holiday destinations.

“l further wish to remind drivers to adhere to the set speed limits and ensure that all vehicle occupants wear their safety belts. Over the years we have experienced a lot of pedestrian related crashes, therefore it is important for pedestrians to remain sober, be on the lookout for vehicles and use demarcated points to cross the road.

“During festivities it is often the norm to consume alcoholic beverages, therefore we encourage motorists to make use of designated drivers to avoid driving under the influence of alcohol,” she advised.