Women for safer roads in Namibia

Think Safety First

AT this time of the year the Ministry of Works and Transport, the National Road Safety Council and other stakeholders, such as the Motor Vehicle Accident Fund, Private Sector Road Safety Forum, Roads Authority, Road Fund Administration, local authorities, traffic departments, the Namibian Police and the Automobile Association of Namibia joined forces to support and plan for the #DoTheRightThing&SaveLives campaign that seeks to prevent road crashes and reduce injuries and fatalities on our roads.

Road Crashes deprive families of hope and rather only leave them with sorrow during this great time that is meant to celebrate Christmas and enjoy the well-deserved holidays.    

    The frequence of road crashes has become so devastating that as the festive season approaches we must wonder why this is happening. We all know that the festive season is characterised by increased volumes of road users on their way home or to visit their loved ones from town to town.

The consequent rise in traffic on our roads calls for heightened alertness and attentiveness from all drivers – in particular all road users. At this time we also know that the increase in traffic places huge pressure on the resources of law enforcement officials, while the key stakeholders plough in large amounts of money to enable them to be on the roads at all times.

Law enforcement will be strengthened with the combination support of road safety agencies and stakeholders to ensure all roads – in particular the B1 and B2 roads check points – remain in operation throughout.

Unruliness and carelessness will not be tolerated. Nampol’s traffic department and local authority law enforcement officials have over many years participated in and refined methods of investigating road incidents so that they identify black spots and points of considerations or places of rapid crash occurrence trends that enable them to better plan for the areas that need most focus.

The #DoTheRightThing&SaveLives theme has been customised to involve all Namibian people to THINK ROAD SAFETY FIRST at all times when on the road. Before any long or short trip, it is imperative to remind ourselves of the realities and occurrences that took many loved ones and left families, friends and communities shattered by the devastating effects.   

The plan for the festive season and road safety education operations aims to engage all law enforcement officers and stakeholders on the roads, so that safety of all road users is upheld and this will include broad visibility and to improve our chances of being at the right time and place to prevent unnecessary accidents.

As we all know and as most literature on the subject indicates, human factors remain the main contributor to road crashes, injuries and fatalities. Furthermore, when we look at numbers, the age distribution shows that young people are more prone to road traffic crashes. It is therefore imperative that we join hands to educate our young people to be considerate and less irresponsible on the road, but to embrace safety.

As a nation we need to look into increasing road safety awareness programmes by educating the youth more intensively to achieve behavioural and attitude changes. We need to encourage the youth to develop a great sense of responsibility and an appreciation for the consequences of reckless behaviour.

SAFETY TIPS: Think safety. Increased alertness is key. The data indicates that road crashes happen mostly on Sundays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays between the time of 16h00 to midnight and early hours or during peak times, while vehicles mostly involved in road crashes are sedans or light motor vehicles, light delivery vehicles and busses and taxis.

It has been reported that the major causes of road crashes are mostly tyre bursts causing rollovers, mechanical causes (such as brake failures) fatigue (tiredness), overloading of passenger and goods vehicles, while contributory factors include driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs, over-speeding, the use of mobile phones, not wearing seatbelt, overtaking recklessly, vehicle roadworthiness and or fitness, pedestrian negligence and jaywalking, pedestrian crossing the road drunk, driver fatigue, overtaking at blind spots and sharp bends.

As a nation we need to embrace monitoring our progress in each region with the support from all while enjoying our holidays. Give your full cooperation to the law enforcement officials and reduce stress that comes with driving when approaching them. Check your vehicle and make sure you have all your required documentation with you in the vehicle.

As a passenger, you are required to plan and do not push to be on the road without proper planning. Ensure that the vehicle you are about to board is well equipped to take you to your final destination. Ensure that your name is recorded in case you are taking a bus/minibus. Read and listen clearly at all times and know your rights. Avoid being used to fill a taxi or bus out of desperation.

Law enforcement will mostly focus on over-speeding, moving violations, road blocks, roadworthiness of public transport, stop-and-checks, drunk driving, occupant safety, overload control of freight transport, dangerous driving and fatigue management. Road safety education and awareness interventions at loading taxi stations will continue throughout, as well as media alerts where necessary. Do not become a victim, rather plan well so that together we reduce deaths and serious injuries.

Check your vehicle well and ensure it is roadworthy. Be sure to take regular stops to rest. Do not overload passengers for the sake of making a lot of money but THINK SAFETY FIRST. Have a co-driver at all times if you are driving long hours or long distances.

For more on Road Safety Tips please contact hileni@aa-namibia.com or call +264 811279321

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