Maria Amakali Windhoek-The correct use of a seatbelt or child restraints has been found to reduce motor vehicle crash-related injuries and fatalities by 50 percent, the World Health Organization has revealed. Corporate Communication Officer at The Motor Vehicle Accident Fund (MVA), Belinda Hamburee, noted that while seatbelts and child restraints do not prevent crashes from taking place, they play a major role in reducing the severity of injury to vehicle occupants involved in a collision. “An occupant’s chance of survival, therefore, increases greatly when appropriately restrained,” said Hamburee. In 2007, the Global Road Safety Partnership conducted a study on ‘Safety-belt Compliance in Namibia’. The study confirmed that an average Namibian driver compliance level on safety belt usage is 40.7 percent. “These results draw attention to the high injury rate of over 6,000 persons who sustain varying degrees of injury on average, every year,” noted Hamburee. He further stated that the number may invariably be linked to the improper and or non-use of seatbelts and child restraints, as both drivers and passengers face an increased risk of injury. According to the statistics that were released in January by Windhoek’s City Police from a recent survey, 88 percent of passengers seated in the rear of a vehicle never or hardly wore seatbelts. The survey indicated that 92 percent of cars inspected had working seatbelts, while in 8 percent of cars the seatbelts malfunctioned. Furthermore, the Namibian Police Force issued 630 seatbelts fines worth N$64,000 in the 2017/2018 financial year. MVA noted that the correct use of seatbelts and child restraints might mean the difference between life and death and severity of injuries. The fund advised all road users to use seatbelts in order to reduce serious injuries such as traumatic brain injuries, poly-trauma and spinal cord injuries and medical cost.
New Era Reporter
2018-03-12 12:04:47 8 months ago