Ndeitunga calls for safe driving over festive season

23 Nov 2013 13:10pm
WINDHOEK, 23 NOV (NAMPA) – The Inspector-General of the Namibian Police Force (NamPol), Lieutenant-General Sebastian Ndeitunga has called on Namibians to refrain from travelling to their holiday destinations immediately after work during the festive season.
In a speech delivered on his behalf by Deputy Inspector-General, Major-General James Tjivikua at the official launch of the Festive Season Road Safety Campaign for 2013/2014 in the capital on Friday, Ndeitunga mentioned a number of ways in which Namibians can stay safe on the roads this festive season.
Amongst other things, motorists should not start their journeys after knocking off from work at 17h00 and ensure that they are well rested before embarking on a journey. Instead of driving to their holiday destination overnight, he said, they should rather depart at first light.
“Most accidents on the roads occur during the night. Try by all possible means to avoid driving at night,” he said.
He also called on drivers to try and avoid travelling on days when traffic on the national roads is expected to peak, which for many people is the weekend before Christmas or New Year’s Day.
“This will allow the traffic volumes on the roads to be reduced somewhat and lead to safer driving,” he noted.
The Inspector-General went on to say it appears as if the police force’s pleas for road safety have fallen on deaf ears over the years as many motorists are still reckless on the road, adding that NamPol stands ready to apprehend those who do not want to adhere to road rules and regulations.
Ndeitunga went on to say as has become custom over the festive season, temporary roadblocks will be set up all over the country so that vehicles which are not roadworthy can be taken off the roads. Members of the police force stationed at roadblocks will also be on the lookout for illicit goods which will be confiscated once detected.
He also noted that overloaded vehicles will be taken off the roads and drivers will be charged accordingly, while driving under the influence of intoxicating substances will not be tolerated and drivers will be apprehended.
“I believe every licensed motorist knows the road rules and regulations and if you happen to forget the rules, kindly consult your learner driver's book for guidance before you embark on the journey,” Ndeitunga said.
Statistics have shown that during the 2009/10 festive season, about 319 crashes were recorded, leading to the deaths of 82 people. During the 2012/13 festive season, about 560 crashes were recorded in which 94 people died and 1 055 were injured.
“A lot of those accidents could have been avoided if drivers adhered to traffic rules and regulations. Many of the accidents were caused by speeding, drunken driving and overtaking at dangerous blind spots,” he noted.
Ndeitunga also warned drivers to adhere to the prescribed speed limits in order to avoid fatalities, not only during the festive season, but throughout the year.
The Festive Season Road Safety Campaign for 2013/2014 is a joint effort by the Motor Vehicle Accident Fund (MVA), the National Road Safety Council (NRSC), and NamPol.
It is aimed at reducing road accidents, injuries and fatalities through targeted action against common road offences such as speeding, drinking and driving, overloading and vehicles which are not roadworthy.