Compared to last year, road crashes have declined by 1.4%, while injuries and fatalities declined by 3% and 14%, respectively, Motor Vehicle Accident (MVA) Fund CEO Rosalia Martins-Hausiku said last week.
She said this during the sponsorship announcement of various institutions that have joined the fund on its annual festive season road safety campaign. Martins-Hausiku took the opportunity to reiterate the need for drivers to change their mindsets and behaviour when driving.
“According to research we conducted two years ago, 70% of these crashes are caused by human behaviour on the roads. Both the private and public sectors can work together and change that behaviour,” she said.
The road safety campaign is expected to run until mid-January 2023 to mitigate the impact of accidents on the country’s national road network during the festive season.
“Road Fund Administration (RFA) pledged N$500 000. This goes towards the Divundu emergency base that we are setting up. So, RFA has joined us in the procurement and conversion of an ambulance,” she said.
Martins-Hausiku added the distance between Rundu and Katima is vast (514km) and Zambezi is the region that has probably the lowest number of crashes – but when crashes happen, people die.
“It’s guaranteed that people will die because of the distance between Rundu and Katima. The level of care in terms of emergencies is non-existent.”
She stated that if an emergency centre is set up in Divundu, lives will be saved. “Most of the time, we have to send flights to pick up injured persons in the Zambezi region,” she said.
At the same occasion, Sanlam Namibia’s Hilma Petrus concurred with Martins-Hausiku, saying she hoped the attitude of drivers will change for the good.
“We hope that people will obey the road safety rules and competently be on the road. When travelling, we all want to arrive safely at our destinations, and that will be insured if we obey the rules,” she said.
The life insurance company also sponsored reflective jackets to law enforcement agencies to the tune of N$55 000.
Other pledges are from Shell (N$500 000), Santam (N$119 000), B2Gold and Navachab Gold Mine individually gave N$50 000, while Auas Motors pledged N$42 000 and Rössing Uranium N$40 000.
Apart from reflective jackets, donations came in the form of radio airtime to communicate the message around the campaign, accommodation at Gondwana Collection for law enforcers during the campaign and refreshments that are required by the Namibian police.
Thus far, the fund received sponsorship worth more than N$978 000 for its road safety campaign. More pledges are expected to come through in various forms during the campaign.