United against the road carnage: Festive Season Road Safety Campaign sponsors and partners at the handover ceremony.
As the Festive Season gets into full swing, road crashes and their devastating effects also become synonymous during this time.
In order to alleviate this phenomenon and preserve lives, partners in road safety, i.e. National Road Safety Council, the MVA Fund, Roads Authority, Windhoek City Police, the Namibian Police, Private Sector Road Safety Forum, Road Fund Administration and local authority traffic departments, jointly launched the 2015/2016 Festive Season Road Safety Campaign in Otjiwarongo last week, under the theme Road Safety Is My Responsibility.
This time around, the campaign which officially kicked-off on 16 November 2015 has launched stringent measures to ensure adherence to traffic regulations.
As part of the campaign operations, law enforcement will be intensified particularly on the notorious B1 and B2 routes, in order to crackdown traffic offences such as speeding, seatbelt usage, drunken driving and overloading, through close monitoring at road blocks and increased highway patrols.
Law enforcement has vowed to leave no stone unturned and road users finding themselves on the wrong side of law will face the full wrath thereof.
In addition, emergency response units of the MVA Fund, private emergency medical and rescue services, the Namibian Defense Force, law enforcement officers from local authorities, volunteers as well as the MVA Fund paramedics will be deployed to respond to possible road crashes without delay.
This will be amplified by the Emergency Medical Response Service Pilot Project which will be launched in Arandis on Friday, 11 December 2015.
According to the MVA Fund Call Centre, so far since the start of the Campaign on 16 November 2015 to date (07 December 2015), 461 people were injured in 256 road crashes, with these road crashes claiming the lives of 50 people.
This in essences translates to an average of 2.6 lives lost every day on our roads since the Campaign was launched. These numbers are unacceptable and call for a more intensified approach and for all stakeholders to double their efforts.
Fanuel Uugwanga, Acting CEO at the MVA Fund, said inadequate funding continues to be a major challenge towards actioning of the Road Safety Action Plan, hence all sorts of sources be it finance as well as public-private partnerships should be explored to address this challenge.
“The challenge continues to build on these hard-won achievements by expanding the number of sponsors and ensure that road traffic injury prevention is mainstreamed as part of new financing mechanisms,” said Uugwanga.
Corporate Namibia and business entities came out in full force to show their commitment to road safety, and the reduction of the needles loss of lives on our roads through generous sponsorship in money and kind.
Over 20 institutions and individuals pledged their support towards the campaign, and a whopping N$ 1,917,900.00 million was collectively raised towards the campaign operations.
The funds are geared towards financing all activities that will be rolled out during the campaign which will conclude on 16 January 2016. The sponsorships were handed over at a media briefing held at the MVA Fund this morning.
Road safety partners welcome this huge boost to the campaign operations, which is expected to complement the efforts that will also influence its success this festive season and beyond.
Said Ambrosius Tierspoor from the National Road Safety Council: “The importance of a multisectoral approach to road safety cannot be understated. We will continue with the rolling road safety approach as agreed by stakeholders in August 2015. The approach covers the areas of public education, increased law-enforcement visibility and improved emergency medical response services.”
The public is encouraged to have access to the Accident Response Number 0819862 to trigger prompt emergency medical response services in case of a road crash. Keep to the following road safety tips to ensure safe and smooth traveling at all times:
Your safety is in your own hands, therefore adhere to traffic regulations at all times.
Do not take unnecessary risks such as overtaking more than one vehicle at a time.
Seat belts help prevent severe injuries and increase your chance of survival in case of a road crash. Ensure that you and everyone in the car are wearing a seatbelt.
Make sure that your vehicle is in a roadworthy condition before embarking on a trip. Check that all the lights, indicators, windscreen wipers, brakes and tyres are in a good working condition.
If you are going to consume any alcohol or narcotic substances, do not drive – rather use a designated driver.
Where possible, do not drive after dark when visibility is compromised.
Take safety breaks every 2 hours in order to avoid driver fatigue.
Always be alert about pedestrians alongside the road.
Be visible – always drive with your lights on, even during the day.
Speed kills. Adhere to speed limits at all times.