Role clarity and accountability are paramount in road safety: Boois

18 Mar 2018 15:50pm
WINDHOEK, 18 MAR (NAMPA) – Clarity of stakeholder roles, commitment, collaboration and accountability is critical in addressing road crashes and fatalities in Namibia, the Motor Vehicle Accident (MVA) Fund acting Chief of Corporate Affairs has said.
Sidney Boois made this statement recently about suggestions to have all stakeholders in the road safety sector placed under a single umbrella body.
“Once everyone knows and subjects themselves to that [accountability, collaboration, commitment], you will have what we call proper coordination,” said Boois.
National Road Safety Council (NRSC) Chairperson, Eliphas !Owos-Oab in January this year advocated for the harmonisation of efforts to curb road carnage in Namibia by unifying traffic law enforcement agencies of local authorities, the Namibian Police Force (NamPol), Roads Authority and NRSC under one umbrella.
These stakeholders are under different managements, different directorates and different mandates.
“What we want to do is harmonise them and bring them under one umbrella so that when we put up a national road strategy, all these entities are aligned to that strategy,” said !Owos-Oab in an earlier interview with this agency.
He noted that the NRSC has submitted a draft proposal to be debated in Parliament.
Boois noted that time was opportune for civil society, non-governmental organisations and the international community to join hands in addressing road carnage.
“The world has moved on. In terms of road safety, it is called the shared responsibility and co-dependency. That’s why they opt for the safe system approach,” added the MVA Fund senior official.
He said a road safety system-mindset should trickle down to the layman and even kindergarten child.
“It starts with you getting into a car and putting on a safety belt; that's when the risk of dying is reduced up 65 per cent. That is the one umbrella,” he stated.
Meanwhile, the MVA Fund is currently embarking on a study to determine the actual causes of road accidents in Namibia.
The research will take up to a year to complete as it deals with sophisticated data analysis which includes crash scenario comparisons, public opinion and accident site visits among others.
“Maybe the resources are currently directed to the wrong interventions. We may need to redirect and realign resources,” explained Boois.