Transport Minister wants intensified fight against accidents

25 Feb 2016 08:50am
EENHANA, 25 FEB (NAMPA) – The Minister of Works and Transport, Alpheus !Naruseb has urged the National Road Safety Council (NRSC) and other stakeholders to intensify all efforts in the prevention of road accidents in Namibia.
Speaking during the official opening of the newly-upgraded Elundu-Eenhana road in the Ohangwena Region on Wednesday, !Naruseb said Namibia cannot afford to lose more lives on the country’s road network.
“We all need to be extremely vigilant and cautious at all times on the road,” he urged, adding that the time is now for Namibian motorists, passengers and pedestrians to change their mindsetfor improved road usage.
He told his audience that leaders in Government are shocked and deeply saddened by the accident some two weeks ago in which 15 people died on the road between Oshivelo and Omuthiya.
“Our heartfelt condolences go out to the families and friends of the deceased and we wish those who are injured a speedy recovery,” the minister stated.
This accident left 15 people dead on the spot when a truck and a minibus coming from opposite directions collided head-on and burst into flames upon impact.
!Naruseb said together, motorists, passengers and pedestrians can put a stop to road accidents.
“If we all work together and obey all the rules of the road, without exception, we can stop the carnage on our roads,” he said.
A report issued by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in 2014 said Namibia had the highest number of deaths from road accidents.
Titled ‘Mortality from road crashes in 193 countries: A comparison with other leading causes of death’, 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 ranked in the 30s.
The NRSC and Motor Vehicle Accident (MVA) Fund however rubbished this figure, saying in a joint media statement the information is “inaccurate, misleading and detrimental to Namibia’s good image and reputation”.
According to data from the two entities, Namibia’s fatality rate per 100 000 people stood at 23.28, meaning it does not top the rankings in terms of road accident deaths.