10 Mar 2014 15:50pm
WINDHOEK, 10 MAR (NAMPA) - The National Road Safety Council (NRSC) and the Motor-Vehicle Accident Fund (MVA) have rubbished claims by the University of Michigan that Namibia has one of the highest vehicle accident death rates in the world.
The information was contained in a report titled Mortality from road crashes in 193 countries: A comparison with other leading causes of death, issued by Michael Sivak and Brandon Schoettle last month, and also published by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
The study from the University of Michigan indicated that Namibia topped the list with a fatality rate of 45 per 100 000 people, while Sudan, Swaziland, Congo and the Central African Republic all rank in the 30s.
The NRSC and the MVA said in a joint media statement on Sunday that the information is inaccurate, misleading and detrimental to Namibias good image and reputation.
It is true that Namibia is in fact faced with a road carnage crisis, but not to the level depicted in the citation and subsequent media reports.
To this end, the NRSC, MVA and all key stakeholders are tirelessly working towards stabilising the situation as per the aspirations and objectives of the Namibian Chapter of the Decade of Action for road safety 2011-2020, it said.
According to data from the two entities, Namibias fatality rate per 100 000 people stood at 23.28, meaning it does not top the rankings in terms of road accident deaths.
The lowest fatality rate was recorded in 2008 at 13.01, while there was a sharp increase in 2009 and 2010. The fatality rate showed a slight decrease in 2011.
In terms of the types of accidents recorded in Namibia, pedestrian-related accidents top the list, accounting for 31 per cent of total accidents recorded, followed by roll-overs and head-side collisions at 29 per cent and nine per cent, respectively.
The latest data indicated that the number of crashes is increasing at an average of 16.3 per cent per year, although there was a slight decrease from the year 2012 to 2013.
For us to improve our road safety performance in the long run, there is a need for Namibia to build a long-lasting road safety culture. To this end, approval has been given by the Ministry of Education to incorporate road safety in the national schools curriculum from Grades 1 to 12.
In addition, the NRSC, MVA, the Namibian Police Force and the Roads Authority are moving towards consolidating efforts and mobilising strategic partners to tackle the escalating road carnage through sustainable year-long interventions, the statement added.