WALVIS BAY, 28 DEC (NAMPA) -
There were only five drunken driving cases recorded at coastal towns from 24 to 29 December; possibly a sign of change in the attitude of drivers who also like to consume alcohol.
A large portion of Windhoek residents and other Namibians hit the coastal towns at the end of each year to celebrate Christmas and New Year.
Namibian Police Force (NamPol) Detective Chief Inspector Moses !Uwu//Khaeb confirmed this to Nampa on Monday, saying Swakopmund recorded three and Walvis Bay two drunken driving cases.
This is in comparison to more than six drunken driving cases recorded over the same period last year. "Overall, the region has been quiet, no accidents, no serious crimes and no deaths have been reported. This is a good thing."
The detective said reports on minor cases such as assault and crimen injuria (unlawfully, intentionally and seriously impairing the dignity of another) from other towns across Erongo Region are expected to be available by Tuesday.
Approached for comment on Monday, NamPol Inspector and Station Commander at the Mondesa Police Station, Erick Nghaamwa attributed the peaceful Christmas to the timely closing of shebeens and visible police patrols.
Nghaamwa said information-sharing sessions between the police and shebeen owners on how to stop alcohol abuse and crimes also helped the coast to enjoy a peaceful Christmas this year.
"The amendment to the Liquor Act brought us relief. The shebeens have been closing on time and we did not have a fight with the public at bars this year at all". As published in the Government Gazette of 13 February 2015, the amended Liquor Licence Act No. 6 of 1998 allows shebeens to operate from 10h00 to 22h00 Mondays to Thursdays.
On Fridays and Saturdays, they may operate from 10h00 to 24h00, while on Sundays they are allowed to operate from 14h00 to 22h00. Before the amendments, shebeens were authorised to operate from 10h00 to midnight on all days except Sundays.
On Sundays they were allowed to be open from 10h00 to 14h30 and 18h00 to midnight. All shebeens are supposed to be closed on Ascension Day, Good Friday and Christmas Day. Nghaamwa said it is always liquor that causes accidents, assaults and fights, leading to loss of lives and property.
"I observed a few road signs that were driven over by vehicles, but we did not receive any report or arrest anyone on that. I think people must report such acts when they see it."
Namibia has over the years become more and more conscious of the need for a change in drivers' attitude on the national road, with law enforcement agencies cracking down on traffic offenders and setting up roadblocks, and agencies such as the Motor Vehicle Accident Fund of Namibia uniting with other state entities and media houses in launching the 2015/2016 Festive Season Road Safety Campaign under a theme that reminds drivers of how safety is their responsibility. (NAMPA) PKS/LI/AS