Women steer towards safer roads agenda

FATAL road crashes continue to rise in Namibia. More and more families are left devastated with unexplained crash after crash. Many countries have changed their story and Namibia is no exception.

Botswana as a country with a population close to ours brought their crashes down; this is one major step Namibian drivers need to take and learn from what they are doing right. There is still hope to change the picture.

Road safety needs to be understood by all and it needs the involvement of all. The time is now to get everybody on board to work together towards the reduction of deaths and serious injuries on our roads.

On 18 September, women came together in Mariental in Hardap region to talk about road safety. The Women in Road Safety project, which started with an expo and ended with a conference on 19 September, was driven by Hardap Regional Council and supported by the Automobile Association of Namibia and the Motor Vehicle Accident Fund.

Women from the private and public sector, such as Roads Authority, First National Bank, Rehoboth Town Council, Debmarine, Namibian Police, Hardap and Erongo Regional Councils, Agribank, Gochas Village Council, Stampriet Village Council, Gibeon Village Council, Social  Security Commission, Keetmanshoop Municipal Traffic, Oranjemund Town Council, Aranos Town Council, Kavango West Regional Council, Ministry of International Relations, Works and Transport, Health and Social Services, as well as the Namibia Law Reform and Development Commission, National Road Safety Council, MVA Fund Botswana, MVA Fund South Africa, Bank Windhoek and delegates of the Children’s Parliament attended both the Expo and the conference.

Women shared learnings, explored and practiced reverse parking exercises, and tyre changing, oil checks; learned to read tyre markings and understand them, and about different sizes of fire extinguishers, how and where to use them; the importance of fire extinguishers to be stored in vehicles; the use of child restraints and how to safely restrain children in a vehicle and much more.

The conference covered topics, such as The Purpose of Women in Road Safety and Reflection on 2018 Women in Road Safety Conference Resolutions; State of Road Safety in Namibia in line with the Decade of Action for Road Safety Target 2011-2020; Impact on Human, Vehicle and Road Safety, Law Enforcement with Consequences Drives Positive Road User Behaviour; and Presentations on women driving the road safety agenda.   

As in 2018, the Women in Road Safety conference took a few resolutions; to develop self-policing guidelines as well as a yearly road safety Action Plan involving women in road safety at regional level and to harmonise the regional road safety agenda; vulnerable road user programmes to be implemented (advocate for walking and cycling lanes for children; encourage the use of child seats; encourage emergency medical and rescue management at all levels (availability of network coverage for earlier access and explore the single emergency reporting number; import tyres to be checked for safety compliance with standards; more awareness raising among communities on transportation of dangerous and hazardous goods; propose driver’s licence requirement for passenger transportation to be endorsed with first aid and defensive training; advocating for robust revocation and suspension of drunk driver licences as well as reduced alcohol and drug limits (Blood Alcohol Content limits) of drivers; animal road safety interventions (roaming of animals next to the road reserve is a concern to be addressed in partnership with key stakeholders; and enforcement with increased visibility policing geared towards accident prevention.

Drive and stay alive.

Women in Road Safety will keep you updated on the upcoming events. For more info on this please contact Ms Hileni Tjivikua on 0811279321 hileni@aa-namibia.com