Do your bit for road safety

Focus on speed, reckless driving
Augetto Graig
The annual road safety campaign for the festive season officially kicks off in Swakopmund on Friday.
Along with this, the chief executive of the Motor Vehicle Accident Fund (MVAF), Rosalia Martins-Hausiku, hosted a fundraising breakfast for stakeholders on Monday.
She said everyone has a responsibility to be ambassadors for a change on Namibian roads, and to counter road accidents and related injuries and deaths.
With the public's cooperation, there was a 14.4% decrease in accidents and 17.5% fewer injuries over the relevant period last year, as well as a 42.2% decrease in loss of life, she said.
According to the executive secretary of the National Road Safety Council (NRSC), Eugene Tendeluke, Namibia's implementation of the African Road Safety Charter since 2019 creates the opportunity for everyone to contribute to the campaign's goals. "You are a player on the field and we need your full participation," he said.
A series of events will begin after the official launch of the campaign, such as a football tournament this coming Saturday where the taxi community will compete against law enforcement officers, and Sunday is Africa Road Safety Day, he said.
"The core focus is on the B1 and B2 as accidents tend to occur on these roads. However, regional commanders also received operational instructions," he said.
The authorities will focus on speeding, pedestrians and reckless driving, with an emphasis on drivers, pedestrians and cyclists between 16 and 35 years old, he added.
Roadblocks can be expected between 4 and 9 December in the Otjozondjupa region, in Oshona between 11 and 14 December, in Erongo between 16 and 21 December, from 8 to 10 January in the Khomas region, and again in Otjozondjupa between 12 and 16 January.
A total of N$1.66 million was pledged for the campaign, which will run until 17 January.
Last year, N$1.1 million was collected and the MVAF's accident and injury prevention manager, Jones Lutombi, encouraged stakeholders to give more this year.
The MVAF has allocated N$600 000 on top of its own costs, to ensure there are emergency services on the scene, while Shell Namibia Upstream pledged N$450 000 specifically for 40 alcohol testing devices and 4 000 mouthpieces.
The Road Funds Administration (RFA) is donating N$230 000 for a new portable ventilator for the emergency centre at Mariental, while Namibia Breweries gave N$200 000, including N$90 000 for soft drinks. B2Gold and Bank Windhoek each pledged N$40 000 for reflective jackets.
MTC donated N$50 000 for the renovation of the Otjozondjupa roadblock and N$10 000 in mobile phone credit, while NWR allocated N$50 000 in vouchers. Ambrosius Tierspoor, head of communications at the NRSC, also donated N$500 in his personal capacity. "There is strength in unity," he said in relation to road safety. He reiterated Martins-Hausiku's position that the country can go far when Namibians work together to make a difference in terms of the carnage on our country's roads. – [email protected]