The last day of the National Road Safety Council’s (NRSC) 4th annual Road Safety Conference began this morning at the Windhoek Country Club and Resort.
The conference, under the theme Building common understanding towards the implementation of the Safe System Approach in Namibia, had speakers focussing on the importance of Road Safety Awareness, the causes of problems on the road and ways in which these issues can be solved.
Eliphas !Owos-oab, a road safety expert, spoke on the effects of withdrawn cases on the morale of traffic law enforcers, and possible remedies for these issues. He ensured that great efforts did exist to ensure road safety, and that it was the state’s obligation to administer justice.
“The Namibian Government is serious about road safety.” He said, adding that the facilities, human resources and funding were there, but many factors influenced the behaviour of road users, such as system backlogs, and possible misappropriation of funds. This backlog includes about 50 000 pending warrants of arrest since 2008 and about 1500 tickets issued daily. Other speakers of the conference, including head of City Police Chief, Abraham Kanime, Ambrosius Tierspoor and international speaker Martin Small, a global road expert and consultant, spoke about the integration of road safety education in lower primary, traffic law enforcement in the city, vehicle safety and road engineering interventions.
This conference serves as a platform for road safety practitioners to come together and share progress on the implementation of their Theme Work Plans for Road Safety Management, Education, Enforcement, engineering roads and vehicles and emergency response. It is held every year and aims to inform the public about the Safe System, which greatly promotes road safety with the hopes of having accident and injury free roads in Namibia.
The conference allowed for audience feedback, as comprehensive public consultation is important and should happen before any decisions are taken. Some comments that came from the audience were who was to be blamed for the way taxi drivers behaved on the roads, the problems with overloading, the need for a traffic court and the criteria used to choose lower primary teachers for road safety. Prime Minister, Dr. Hage Geingob, was the key note speaker along with the Mayor of Windhoek, Agnes Kafula, who welcoming the participants to the three day event.