By: Justicia Shipena, Eba Kandovazu, Ludorf Iyambo
As the Easter weekend approaches, ||Kharas governor Aletha Fredricks said she looks forward to an accident-free Easter long weekend.
Fredricks said this at the launch of the Easter weekend roadblocks on Wednesday.
According to her, the Easter Weekend Road Safety Campaign with Road Blocks is to ensure motorists comply with road safety regulations.
“I am looking forward to an incident-free 2022 Easter long weekend and wish all road users a safe return to their respective places at the end of the holiday,” said Fredricks.
Fredricks said the campaign is also a platform to create awareness and remind citizens of the importance of road safety requirements.
“We are gathered here to remind ourselves and educate and sensitise drivers to ensure that they comply with the traffic rules, not only for their safety alone but also for their passengers’ safety and their fellow road users,” she said.
In this vein, she urged drivers to ensure that their cars are safe and fit to be used on the road.
Fredricks added drivers should desist from using alcohol while on the road.
“Strictly comply with the traffic rules of the road, not only adhering to speed control limits but being mindful of any other factors that could likely infringe on safe driving,” she expressed.
She further said the region has been boasting a decrease in road fatalities.
“But this time around, we must not be complacent because the crisis of locusts’ invasion has already caused at least two to three road accidents, in which people have lost their lives.”
Hence, she said the region is on the brink of a precipice in battling the outbreak of brown locusts.
“Locust swarms continue to plague the region; they impair vision on the roads in affected areas; the crushed insects make road surfaces slippery. It can cause fatal road accidents as we have witnessed recently,” she said.
People should also take extra care when entering areas affected by locusts’ invasion.
“This by ensuring that we decrease speed and proceed with caution in the affected areas.”
Fredricks also said stakeholders should draw lessons from past experiences and adopt better ways of ensuring safety on the roads.
“As both the road users and the infrastructure managers, we have equal responsibility for safety on the road. Moreover, it is also essential for the motorists to continuously alert the Roads Authority when spotting major defects on the roads,” said Fredricks.
She further added some parts of the country had received good rains; hence there could be pot-holes on the roads.
“I applaud the Roads Authority for the work underway on the B1 Road between Gibeon and Tses, which is in good progress. The upgrade of this road will, without doubt, enhance road safety between the Hardap and ||Kharas regions.”
Meanwhile, Acting Oshana regional commander deputy commissioner Moses Kashala said the region is ready for the Easter weekend.
He said enough police officers have been dispatched at the Ongwediva roadblock and the roadblock between Ondangwa and Oshikango. He further said police would make patrols throughout the region over the long weekend.
“All our roadblocks are ready and prepared. Our mission is simple. To control the movement of vehicles and ensure that all the rules are adhered to. To avoid road accidents, I urge all our road users to adhere to road safety rules. Let me reiterate that the allowable speed on highways is 120 kilometres per hour, while 60 kilometres per hour is the requirement for those driving in towns. Drivers should be vigilant and look out for pedestrians as well, regardless of whether or not they are government drivers or private drivers. Pedestrians too should be cautious,” he said.
He also urged long-distance drivers to inspect their cars before they travel.
“We are expecting a lot of travellers into the region, from across the country. Drive safe. Ensure that your tyres are checked and that your engine oil is up to standard,” he stressed.
In the Omusati region, police inspector Anna Kunga said the police have already started with road operations and are watching out for those not adhering to the road rules and regulations during Easter weekend. She further said that civilians should comply with the law at all costs. “I want to alert all the businessmen and women that selling alcohol on Saturday and Sunday is only for those who have licences to operate on those days. We will arrest and open a case for anyone not complying with the law,” said Kunga.