MVA wants safer roads for users

27 Sep 2017 17:40pm
GOBABIS, 27 SEP (NAMPA) - The Motor Vehicle Accident (MVA) Fund, in consultation with other stakeholders, aim to make routes along the Trans-Kalahari Corridor safer for road users.
Consultations held with the National Road Safety Council (NRSC), Self-Regulating Alcohol Industry Forum (SAIF), Private Road Safety Forum (PRSF) and Ministry of Works and Transport, among others, during the course of this year aimed to address road safety in communities such as Witvlei, Maltahöhe and Omutsegwonime.
In a media statement issued on Wednesday, MVA Fund’s acting Chief of Corporate Affairs, Sidney Boois said the presence of stray domestic animals on road reserves along the Trans-Kalahari Corridor’s A1 and A2 routes is a major impediment to road safety.
The MVA thus engaged the Witvlei community in July this year to control these animals and reduce their involvement in road crashes.
Witvlei is located along the A2 Route of the Trans-Kalahari Highway, and its proximity to farms has given rise to the number of stray animals along this route.
The Maltahöhe Farmer’s Association in Hardap and the Omutsegwonime community in Oshikoto Region, located along the A1 route, were also engaged by the Fund recently, Boois said.
According to the statement, the communities of the different places expressed various challenges with regard to controlling their livestock.
“These challenges include a lack of impounding kraals in the corridors to keep stray animals, and a lack of financial resources to rehabilitate border fences that collapse due to wear and tear,” the statement noted.
The Fund said a lack of knowledge on how to administer section 348 of the Road Traffic and Transport Regulations of 2001, also became a concern to the stakeholders.
The regulation states that a person may not leave or allow any bovine animal, horse, ass, mule, sheep, goat, pig or ostrich to be on any section of a public road where that section is fenced or in any other manner closed along both sides.
Other regulations on road safety also prohibit people from leaving their animals in a place where it may stray onto that section of a public road, unless such an animal is being ridden, used to draw a vehicle along a public road and is being driven from one place to another.
“In instances where animals are driven along a public road during the period of sunset to sunrise, the owner or herder needs to a carry a red light for visibility,” Boois said, adding that this also applies during any other period of the day.