Pay the price of speeding this festive season

Home Front Page News Pay the price of speeding this festive season

Motoring reporter

THE festive season means more than just celebrating the year gone by, opening Xmas presents and hanging out with friends and family,  it means taking precautions on the roads and becoming a responsible motorists, as you travel to your  holiday destination.

Not only is your life endangered whilst breaking the rules of the roads, but that of other’s, turning  main arteries into a killing fields where the lives of innocent people are at risk.

Taking the bull by the horns, to once again raise awareness, the  Motor Vehicle Accident (MVA) Fund and the National Road Safety Council (NRSC) joined hands to tackle road carnage on Namibian roads this festive season, with a launch that was attended by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Works and Transport, Peter Mwatile, and Windhoek Mayor, Agnes Kafula ,last week.

MVA Fund Spokesperson Kapena Tjombonde said the campaign will focus on road-safety awareness at major points, with law enforcement and emergency medical response to crashes this festive season. He highlighted the theme of the campaign as being the “Consequence of Speeding”.

Tjombe said this year the main activities will be concentrated in the five regions where the highest accident statistics were recorded –  namely, Khomas, Oshana, Oshikoto, Erongo and Otjosondjupa. These spots will be on the roads between Karibib and Okahandja, Okahandja and Otjiwarongo, Otjiwarongo and Otavi, Swakomund and Henties Bay, Ondangwa and Oshakati, Tsumeb and Oshivelo, Oshivelo and Ondangwa and between Rundu and Mururani.

Given the expected high volumes of traffic expected on the roads, the occurrence of road crashes and their resultant fatalities become a very real possibility during this time of the year. And if statistics are anything to go by, the festive season has therefore become a critical time during which lives are cut short, as people perish in road crashes, most of which could have been prevented. Many of the victims are still coming to terms with life-changing disabilities.

According to statistics revealed, a total of 94 died in road crashes during the 2012/13 festive season, the highest fatality rate in the last five years. According to road crash data collated by the MVA Fund Call Centre, speeding, drunk driving and dangerous overtaking are the leading driver behaviour that results in road crashes and fatalities in Namibia.

The data further reveals it is the young, productive citizens within the 16-35 age group that are over-represented in road traffic fatalities. For this reason, this year’s festive season campaign will therefore feature targeted interventions, specifically for this age group.

With speed as the focal point, the campaign’s objective is to increase public awareness of the detrimental consequences of speeding, which range from severe injuries, disabilities or death. All motorists are warned to adhere to the prescribed speed limit in order to bring peace on our roads in Namibia during this joyous time of year.