The Khomas Region has emerged as Namibia’s hot bed of vehicle fatalities followed by Erongo at least according to a risk analysis and data review conducted by the Motor Vehicle Accident Fund (MVA), this publication can reliably inform.
According to information released by the MVA Fund Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Rosalia Martins-Hausiku, a 2015 data report on road crashes records Khomas region as leading with 39%, followed by Erongo (12%) while Oshana has 10% with Otjozondjupa trailing behind with 9%.
Speaking to this publication in an exclusive interview probing on the possible factors ascribed to these statistics, Rosalia Martins-Hausiku disclosed that the high risk in the said regions is potentially due to the high vehicle population.
The Fund with its partners is conducting a pedestrian safety audit in Khomas, as statistics indicate that about 28% of crashes that happen in Namibia are pedestrian-related.
“Furthermore, 50% of the crashes involving pedestrians are recorded in Khomas, as such the Fund undertook to do an audit to uncover where the black spots are so as to collaboratively find solutions, with the view to improve safety on our roads”, Martins-Hausiku disclosed.Statistics emerging from the World Health Organisation expose a shocking 1.2 million part of the world population die in road traffic crashes on an annual basis while as many as 50 million people are injured or disabled by road traffic crashes every year.
The MVA Fund boss has however submitted that the Fund was on an overdrive of educating road users to at least curb the prevalence of road fatalities which in Namibia have been blamed mostly on over-speeding.
“The MVA Fund has in the past focused on general road safety education directed at all road users. With the advent of its 2014-2019 Strategy, the MVA Fund has ventured into interventions with targeted vulnerable road users as informed by data collated at our Call Centre. These targeted road users include pedestrians, youth (15 to 35 year age group) and males who continue to be more at risk of road crashes in comparison to females,” said Martins-Hausiku
Indications on data for the vulnerable group of road users over the past 2 years reveal that the number of pedestrian crashes significantly decreased by 20% in 2015 in comparison to the previous year.
“The Fund, based on its data, discovered that the high risk target group is 16-35 year olds. This group falls in the economic productive bracket and mostly employed. We thus resolved to conduct workplace road safety interventions at various institutions with the aim to inculcate a road safety culture through awareness campaigns. Our road safety interventions in collaboration with the law enforcement officials are mostly targeted at reminding drivers about the rules of the road and changing inappropriate road user behavior, to improve the scourge on our roads,” explained Martins-Hausiku.She also noted that the Fund utilizes various platforms and forms of communication to interact with various groups of society, the most frequently used channel of communication being the radio, in various vernaculars.
“This has thus allow ed us to reach as many people as possible. Furthermore, the Fund conducts face-to- face community engagements that encourage interaction and valuable feedback. Future consideration will also be afforded to translating current educational material into local vernaculars,” she said.
In support of Pillar 4 of the Road Safety Decade of Action, the MVA Fund shares the responsibility to build capacity in the post-crash response area through the provision of appropriate emergency treatment. To this end, the Fund offers ten Advanced Life Support (ALS) bursaries per year since 2007, and have graduated 21 paramedics thus far. Moreover, we measure the emergency response times upon notification of a crash through our Call Centre. “These targets are aimed at saving lives, through emergency care capacity building and dispatching the right level of care instantly for emergencies”, the MVA Fund CEO concluded.