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Easing of Covid restrictions contributes to accidents

2021-09-06  Aletta Shikololo

Easing of Covid restrictions contributes to accidents

The Motor-Vehicle Accident (MVA) Fund recorded a high number of crashes, injuries and fatalities between January 2021 and 1 August 2021, compared to the previous year.

The fund assumes that the easing of Covid-19 restrictions since the end of last year is one of the factors that greatly contributed to an increase in the number of crashes, injuries and fatalities during that period.

Speaking to New Era, the MVA Fund’s corporate communications officer Mona-Liza Garises said the easing of restrictions meant that more people were using the roads, be it as drivers, passengers or pedestrians, thereby increasing the risk of the occurrence of crashes and consequent injuries and fatalities.

The fund’s latest statistics - between January and August this year - showed that 1 800 crashes were reported, compared to 1 634 in the same eight-month period last year.

The injuries have soared from 2 860 to 3 187, while the fatalities have increased from 257 to 298.

“Of the total number of crashes and injuries during the period under review, the majority were males, while youth aged between 16 and 35, irrespective of casualty status, represented 44% of injuries and 43% of fatalities,” Garises noted.

The majority of pedestrian-related crashes were recorded for the Khomas region, representing 42% of the total recorded pedestrian crashes, while the majority were males as compared to female counterparts, irrespective of casualty status.  

“Of pedestrians who were injured and/or died as a result of road crashes, youth aged between 16 and 35 were represented by 32% (injuries) and 28% (fatalities). The top crash types were collisions (29%), pedestrians (29%), and roll-overs representing 23%,” she added.  

On the cost aspect, Garises said the fund would have disbursed up to N$100 000 per person as compensation for injuries sustained for the 2 923 injured person, and undertake up to N$1.5 million per person injured, providing for medical treatment, injury management, rehabilitation and life-enhancement.  

Additionally, the fund offers the loss of support benefit to legal dependents of the deceased. This is limited to N$100 000 per annum per family, with certain limitations and exclusions, while the loss of income benefit may be claimed by a survivor of a road crash, and is limited to N$100 000 per annum per family, with certain limitations and exclusions. 

 The fund would also spend N$7 000 in respect of the funeral grant for each of the 268 persons who had lost their lives.  

Speaking on the fund’s finances, Garises said they attained a 100% funding level and became technically solvent in 2016.  

“Ever since, it has grown year-on-year, with the latest funding level standing at 188%. Financial stability remains one of the fund’s key focus areas and we, therefore, carry out activities in a manner that ensures the fund remains financially sustainable for the foreseeable future,” she added.

2021-09-06  Aletta Shikololo

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