04 Mar 2014 19:00pm
WINDHOEK, 04 MAR (NAMPA) - Health Minister Richard Kamwi has commended the Ministry of Works and Transport for barring the transportation of workers in open trucks.
Speaking in Parliament on Tuesday, Kamwi said his ministry is working with the World Health Organisation (WHO) on getting information from various countries on reducing road accidents and preventing injuries and deaths.
Recent reports indicated that Namibia has the highest mortality rate due to car crashes, with 45 people killed on the roads out of every 100 000 people.
The Minister of Health and Social Services said it is time for action as Namibia tops the list with regards to fatality rates as a result of car crashes, followed by Thailand, Iran, Sudan and Swaziland.
There is a need to enforce existing laws and regulations, working with traffic police to stop dangerous driving, frequent spot checking, particularly during weekends and holidays for drunken driving, compulsory wearing of seatbelts, installation of speed cameras, strict and regular road worthiness certification, and strengthening of patrolling to name a few, he said.
The minister went on to say something had to be done about truck drivers and trucks, adding that in many countries trucks are not allowed on the roads during certain periods of the day. The hours of driving by the same driver are also regulated, while speed is limited, amongst other things.
He added that the Ministry of Works and Transport needs support to intensify awareness campaigns and added that the Health Ministry will be improving its urgent and critical trauma care.
The Minister of Works and Transport, Erkki Nghimtina told a media conference on Monday officials from his ministry and the Motor Vehicle Accident (MVA) Fund have taken note of the worrying increase in truck-related crashes on roads in recent months.
He made specific reference to a tipper truck which claimed two lives when it overturned in the capital last Thursday.
Nghimtina said due to the increase in truck-related road accidents, the Ministry of Transport has decided to strictly enforce the public transportation laws, especially the regulations prohibiting employers from transporting their employees in trucks.
He expressed concern that although the laws are already in place, employers have continued to ignore it.