Women Influence for Safer Roads in Namibia
“SMARTER and integrated planning can prevent crashes from occurring, if a mistake happens, better road design can mean that the impact of the crash doesn’t result in death on serious injury” – Vision Zero. Sweden
What we know
If we consider how we all interact on our road networks we can determine that safety features are a road’s needs.
Namibia needs to consider the Safe System as a matter of urgency. For the system to be implemented a better understanding and reduction of road risks across road networks, not just on black spots is needed. In this case star rating road assessments that involve reviewing the safety of a road and the way it is used and are given a star score must be implemented.
The system ensures that star rating is based on road design elements known to influence the likelihood of a crash and its severity such as lane and shoulder width, road curvature and the presence of a safety barrier. Roads are assigned a score from one star (least safe) to five stars (most safe).
Our Namibian roads are good but are they safe? The rating system can help plan future road improvements, and ensure the roads that more people use have the right safety features and systematically reduce the overall risk of road trauma.
Government must ensure a road network infrastructure that is ready and able to support new technology that allows vehicles and roads to communicate for improved safety (for example communicating the speed limit or traffic barriers ahead to road users.)
Road Safety education starts at home:
By now we all know that road crashes account for a high proportion of morbidity and mortality globally. Attempts to introduce proved road safety measures by different road safety agencies are ongoing.
However it’s a fact that the health sector bears a large part of the socio-economic burden of road injuries. It would benefit from better road injury prevention in terms of fewer hospital admissions, reduced severity of injuries and, in the event of safer conditions for pedestrians and cyclists, health benefits from more walking and cycling.
Anything worth doing in road injury prevention in future requires strong and persistent advocacy from all Namibians. In smaller groups, women can contribute towards the reduction of death and serious injuries with road safety education from their own homes, regions, communities and constituencies. We must all play our role to ensure that deaths caused by road crashes are minimised in Namibia. No death is acceptable.
All women in Namibia must join hands to ensure that road safety becomes a priority supported by a range of targeted road safety actions to help drive down crashes, fatalities and serious injuries.
Your involvement is crucial and will help government see the need for a safer system. Become a road safety leader starting from home to your community.
Visit the upcoming second women in road conference and learn more about the safe system approach and so much more.