Road safety data flawed

The National Road Safety Council annual report published in April this year shows that 17,387 road crash cases and data were recorded in 2010, a 12.5% increase from 2009. However, over the ensuing months, it has transpired that not only was this data delayed, it is also heavily flawed.
According to the road safety council’s own report the data is entirely inadequate for planning strategies to curb drinking and driving and promote the wearing of seat belts as an essential safety measure.
National Road Safety Council Chairman, George Simataa, said in the report that the unreliable data was nevertheless taken into account for the analysis and the NRSC is confident that this report fairly represents the situation on the ground.
“Deficiencies such as lack of proper record keeping, inadequate training and lack of understanding of the importance of crash reports became profoundly evident.”
Of the 23,305 drivers that were involved in road accidents, only 3,355 (14.4 %) were tested for alcohol intoxication, an increase of 3% compared to 2,689 tested in 2009.
The poor performance extends to the wearing of seatbelts: just 5 % of the accident forms recorded seatbelt use for 1,043 out of a total of 23,305 drivers and for 836 out of a total of 1,894 injured passengers (44.1%).
Rear end collisions were the most frequent road accidents in 2010, followed by collisions with animals and sideswipe collisions between vehicles moving in the same direction.
Although these accidents constituted the majority in terms of numbers, accidents that were the most devastating in terms of severity were single vehicle overturn, collisions with pedestrians and head-on collisions. According to the report the exact identification of black spots, which are locations known to be high risk areas for pedestrians, is currently not possible because police officers attending accident scenes failed to complete the GPS co-ordinates as stipulated on the NRAF
Road accident collision numbers have been rising by an average of 6.3 %. The report also comments that the state of road safety in 2010 was unsafe with an increase of 1.3 % in the number of injury collisions from 2.537 in 2009 to 2.570 the next year increased 11.3 % increase recorded from 2008 to 2009. Even with a significant rise over the two years in the number of casualties (4.164 to 4,406).
Slight injuries increased slightly with less than 1% from 16 recorded injuries while fatal injuries rose steeply with by 12.6 % and serious injuries by 13.6%. Despite considerable fluctuation the number of casualties from year to year, a general downward trend across the nine years from 2002 to 2010.
The regional distribution of the number of road accidents show that over half of all collisions occurred in Khomas followed by Erongo,Oshana and Otjozondupa. The four regions also topped the list in 2009, even with a slightly different order with Karas in 5th and Oshikoto in 6th place.
The highest rate of fatalities per 10,000 people was recorded in the Hardap region, with three in 10,000 people at risk of being killed. Other regions with a similar fatality were Omaheke, Karas and Oshana.
Head rear-end collisions were the most frequent t type of road accident in 2010. with 3158 recorded Collision with animals were 1,902 and collision with fixed objects (1.197) ranked second and third.
Accident types with particularly server outcomes included vehicles single vehicles that overturned recorded at 1155, resulting in 102 fatalities and 539 serious injuries. Collision with pedestrians recorded 749, resulting in 76 deaths and 291 serious injuries: and head-on collisions recorded 279 causing 35 deaths and 111 serious injuries.