Minister of Works and Transport John Mutorwa said Namibia has achieved a historically significant reduction in crashes, injuries and fatalities.
Mutorwa was speaking during the launch of the 2022/23 festive season road safety campaign report on Tuesday afternoon.
The minister explained that motor vehicle accident crashes and their resultant injuries declined by 15%, whilst fatalities went down by a massive 45%, compared to the previous festive season.
“In further dissecting the results, it is worth noting that 324 road crashes were recorded in the 2022/23 festive season period as compared to 384 during the previous festive season. In relation to injuries, 633 were recorded as compared to 746, during the 2021/22 festive season. Fifty-four fatalities were recorded in the just-ended festive season, compared to 98 fatalities during the previous festive season,” he revealed.
Although these results show considerable achievements, he added that concerns still arise, as Khomas continues to claim the highest count of crashes at 24%, followed by Erongo and Otjozondjupa.
Otjozondjupa recorded the highest fatality rate at 15%, followed by Oshikoto with 13%.
“Though we should acknowledge and celebrate our achievements, these figures imply a lot still needs to be done in jointly strengthening enforcement, education and community support throughout this year and beyond,” said the minister.
Mutorwa urged all road safety stakeholders to take an educational cue from the festive season campaign and continue improving on the tactical and operational strategies to ensure all subsequent campaigns are even much more effective.
“This is imperative and important, as we are obliged by our own long-term national strategy to reduce our overall fatalities and serious injuries due to motor vehicle crashes by 50% by the year 2030, which is merely seven years ahead,” he said.
Meanwhile, head of Namibian Police operations Elias Mutota at the same occasion explained that festive season crime prevention operations recorded 1 758 criminal cases countrywide, compared to 1 621 criminal cases reported during the 2021/2022 festive season, statistics which translates to an increase of 8%.
Moreover, Mutota added that 719 suspects were arrested during the period under review, compared to 779 in the 2021/2022 festive season operations.
The prevalent serious crime recorded ranged from assault – grievous bodily harm (GBH) (503), fraud (258), stock theft (248), rape (169), dealing in drugs (142), possession of wildlife products (65) and murder (57).
“Analysis done on the crime statistics indicate that the increase in some serious crimes during the festive season was attributed to the abuse of alcohol or narcotic substances among youth, high unemployment and other socio-economic factors,” he added.
The head of operations added that 174 646 vehicles were inspected at various road traffic checkpoints countrywide; 151 875 drivers were screened for alcohol, of which 128 464 were male, while 23 411 were female; 963 drivers were detained for driving a motor vehicle while they were under the influence of alcohol or intoxicating substances.
About 26 332 summonses were issued with a monetary value of around N$23 million, while 1 312 unroadworthy vehicle were suspended from further usage, and 2 346 courtesy notifications were issued.