Friday 18 June 2021
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Authorities caution road users

In the days before long weekends come the inevitable road safety campaigns with their dire warnings of deadly crashes. Don’t be one of the many fatalities, they often warn.
As the nation prepares to commemorate Heroes Day in Oshakati this weekend which coincides with the popular Ongwediva Annual Trade Fair and Olufuko Festival, many are expected to travel to the northern parts of the country.
The Namibian Police and Motor Vehicle Accident Fund (MVA) has called on road users to embrace the principles of heroism by driving cautiously and adhering to the rules of the road.
Nampol’s Inspector General, Sebastian Ndeitunga urged drivers to respect road ordinances and urged passengers to report reckless drivers.
“We have deployed our members on the roads, especially in the north where most activities will take place. We are calling for civic discipline amongst road users, drivers must not do things because they are afraid of being punished but because road safety should be self-enforced,” said the police chief.
He also cautioned the public from stealing properties of victims at accident scenes and at the same time warned those who film accident scenes for circulation on social media.
Ndeitunga outlined that a zero death toll rate on Namibian roads can only be attained if road users collaborate with the road safety authorities.
“Most of the accidents are caused by drivers, it is rare to come across an accident that was a result of mechanical faults on the cars.
I want to warn road users that anyone caught drinking while driving, overloading or speeding will be locked up and will only be eligible for bail on 28 August 2017,” he warned.
Like Ndeitunga, MVA Fund’s Chief Corporate Affairs Officer Kapena Tjombonde urged the public to embrace self-respect, altruism, devotion, duty, compassion and integrity saying that everyone has a legal and moral obligation to wear seatbelts at all times, keep to prescribed speed limits, be mindful of pedestrians and avoid driving under the influence of substances.
“As we pay tribute to our heroes and heroines who sacrificed their lives for the independence of our country, let us be road safety heroes by keeping to the rules of the road.
This pledge will go a long way in saving lives on our roads and in advancing the cause of the departed heroes.
This Heroes Day let us honour the memory of our gallant heroes and heroines by avoiding more bloodshed on our roads.
Their sacrifices have made it possible for us to live in a country founded on effective governance, respect for the rule of law, dignity, unity and respect for human life,” she said.
MVA Fund statistics recorded during the Heroes’ Day weekend of 25 August to 28 August 2016 indicate that 14 lives were lost in 73 crashes with 157 people sustaining injuries, hence the appeal to be responsible road users. The statement said that the 14 lives that were lost last year during the same Heroes Day weekend can only be avoided if everyone commits to being a responsible road user.
Khomas region recorded the highest number of crashes 19 followed by Oshana 9 while Erongo and Otjozondjupa region recorded 7 crashes each. Injury statistics indicate that Omusati recorded 41 injuries with Khomas towing right behind with 37 and Oshana with 17 injuries respectively.
Moreover, Otjozondjupa recorded 3 fatalities while Khomas, Oshana and Hardap recorded 2 fatalities each.
Meanwhile, Oshana Chief Regional Officer, Martin Elago cautioned road users to be considerate of others particularly the motorists and pedestrians, due to the traffic congestion expected in the region.
“Traffic volumes will be high and therefore there is a need to be mindful of the animals and all hindrances that may occur during this crucial time. Let us also not be too aggressive in our driving and avoid rushing,” he urged.
Elago further called on road users travelling from other corners of the country to take off early as it would allow them to have enough time to drive and arrive in good time.
“We are commemorating those who have sacrificed their lives for the independence of this land; therefore we need not have more deaths.
Events like OATF and Olufuko cultural festival are events to enjoy and have fun to relax and to network with colleagues, friends and business people therefore let them not turn into a nightmare for some families,” he said.
Elago said the region has been busy preparing for the commemoration to ensure that they host the guests in a dignified welcoming manner.
“We are honoured to be nominated to host this gathering and to have people from all over the country descending to our region is quite a privilege,” he expressed.

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