357 die on roads since January

LAUNCHED … The 2023/24 festive season road safety campaign was launched at the Windhoek-Okahandja roadblock yesterday. Photo: Henry van Rooi

The Namibian Police has recorded 2 550 road crashes from January to November this year.

The police say 4 508 injuries and 357 fatalities have been recorded.

In a speech read on behalf of inspector general Joseph Shikongo, Khomas region commissioner commander Wilhelm Steenkamp says there has been a reduction in road fatalities, crashes and serious injuries for the first time in the history of Namibia.

Road crashes have reduced with 14,4%, resultant injuries with 17,5% and fatalities by 42,2% since January.

Steenkamp was speaking during the launch of the 2023/24 festive season road safety campaign at the Windhoek-Okahandja roadblock yesterday.

Compared to the previous year during the same period, a decrease of 4% in crashes was observed, with 2658 cases, Shikongo said.

Injuries have decreased by 1%, having recorded 4 471 cases, whereas fatalities increased by 9%, with 392 cases.

“This therefore calls for the need to deploy traffic law-enforcement officers and the continuous collaboration with all stakeholders to ensure we reach our ‘Decade of Action’ goals of reducing fatalities to 50% by 2030,” Shikongo said.

He said the increased number of vehicles on our national roads demands higher levels of vigilance from drivers as well as pedestrians.

The police commenced with operations at major traffic checkpoints on the B1 and B2 roads.

“The purpose of this campaign is to prevent road traffic crashes, enhance road safety, increase visibility of law enforcement on all roads and robust law enforcement, and lastly to promote compliance to legal frameworks on the B1 and B2 roads,” Shikongo said.

The campaign further aims to curb incidents of drunk driving, speeding, reckless and negligent driving and to ensure that drivers and their vehicles are fit to be on national roads.

Speaking at the same event, Khomas governor Laura Mcleod-Katjirua urged motorists to adhere to road safety measures and drive safely to reach their final destinations.

“Motorists should adhere to all safety measures to avoid endangering lives on the roads,” she said.

The governor urged motorists to be patient on the roads.

Martin Antonio, a bus driver who transports passengers from Windhoek to Eehnana said it is crucial to have everything in place before embarking on a long trip.

“I always make sure my bus is roadworthy,” he said.

Another motorist, Tobias Sheehama, said he always ensures that all his passengers wear seat belts and that he adheres to the speed limit on the road.

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