ROAD related deaths in the country have reportedly reduced to ninety-eight during the past festive season, compared to one hundred and twenty-seven road fatalities reported in the preceding year’s season.
This was announced by Lieutenant General Sebastian Ndeitunga at the launch of the Festive Season Road Safety Campaign in Windhoek.
According to Ndeitunga, in 2017/18, festive season statistics indicate that the number of accidents has reduced from 544 to 481 in 2018/19, while the number of injuries reduced from 999 in 2017/18 festive season to 851 in 2018/19.
These numbers are, however, but a drop in the ocean.
During 2014, a total 684 deaths were recorded, while the following year recorded an increase as 720 deaths were reported in 2015. The year 2016 saw a slight increase in the number of deaths, with figures standing at 736 and an even higher increase in 2017 as a total 778 people died on the roads.
“A study by Derek Thompson of the University of Michigan in 2014 indicated that Namibia was rated among the top 10 countries with the highest driving fatality per capital. This is not a good indication at all as it demonstrates that there is a need for concerted efforts from all stakeholders in order to combat the predicament we find ourselves in,” said Ndeitunga.
The law enforcement, he added, in partnership with various stakeholders, have rolled out aggressive road safety campaigns initiatives such as “Do the right thing and save lives’ and “Flash in Support on Road Safety” for 2019/20 festive season to reduce road carnage on national roads.
“Other possible solutions should include the periodic examination of all motor vehicle, to ensure their roadworthiness set up lower urban speed limits, pedestrian bridges and barriers, which separate cars from bikes and oncoming traffic,” he said.
In conclusion, Ndeitunga noted that road safety is a major problem for developing and middle-income countries of which Namibia forms part.
“In order to solve these challenge, we must join hands and share best practice with their countries such as the Republic of South Africa and Botswana among others, to mitigate road safety,” he said.