No speed decrease or speed humps on Western Bypass: Eiseb

07 Nov 2014 11:20am
WINDHOEK, 07 NOV (NAMPA) – The speed limit on Windhoek’s Western Bypass will not be reduced from 120 kilometres an hour (km/h) to 60km/h, Superintendent Adam Eiseb of the City Police's traffic department says.
Speaking to Nampa on Thursday, Eiseb said there are also no plans to install speed humps on the Western Bypass as reported in local daily the Namibian Sun earlier this week.
That newspaper reported on Tuesday that the City Police have been given the green light by the Ministry of Works and Transport to take charge of the Western Bypass, saying it would have its speed limit reduced.
The newspaper reported that City Police Senior Superintendent Gerry Shikesho had said there are going to be many infrastructural changes, and information on these developments would be shared with the community.
The road, which has become notorious for reckless driving and accidents, stretches from Döbra north of the capital to the traffic circle entering Windhoek from the south.
“The Ministry of Works and Transport last week authorised the CoW to enforce the applicable law (the current Road Traffic and Transport Act and its regulations), and therefore also to apply the rules,” Eiseb told this news agency.
He added that speed on the Western Bypass is indeed a concern to the City of Windhoek (CoW).
That road was initially built as a bypass - a road passing around a town or its centre to provide an alternative route for through-traffic - but development on the western side of the city means it now basically runs through the capital.
This changes the road's status as a 'bypass', Eiseb explained.
The development also means activity on the road has changed over the years, with a large number of pedestrians crossing the road on a daily basis.
The high speeds some drivers engage in pose a danger to the pedestrians and other road users’ lives.
“According to available statistics, a minimum of two lives are lost on a monthly basis on the Western Bypass,” Eiseb stressed.
He noted that the Ministry of Works and Transport has realised that something needs to be done, such as that a technical committee should be established to investigate the root causes of all the concerns regarding the road.
This committee will look at short, medium, and long-term solutions, and will then make recommendations to that ministry to help make the road safer.
Eiseb further stated that the City Police's traffic department will look at several focus areas such as speed law-enforcement, the monitoring of transport vehicles, pedestrian behaviour and the transportation of people in vehicles designed for transporting goods. Other issues the City Police will look at are parking and camping under bridges on the Western Bypass, illegal hitchhikers, illegal crossing of the road, and U-turns done on the Western Bypass lanes.
To improve and illuminate the concerns by the CoW and road users, Eiseb said they will look at the three 'E' approach, which includes engineering, education and enforcement of the law.
The City Police have already started with speed control.
“Since we started with the deployment of our speed control at the end of October, we detected 1 018 speed transgressions, of which the highest speed recorded was 187km/h in a 120km/h zone,” he said.