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Strong action taken by City to bring road accidents down

(From left to right) Councillors Muesee Kazapua,  Elaine Trepper, Mayor of the City of Windhoek, Chief of City Police and Emergency Management,  Abraham Kanime and Eugene Tendekule at the launch of the “Windhoek Chapter” of the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011 to 2020 at Zoo Park this week. (Photograph by Lorato Khobetsi)

(From left to right) Councillors Muesee Kazapua, Elaine Trepper, Mayor of the City of Windhoek, Chief of City Police and Emergency Management, Abraham Kanime and Eugene Tendekule at the launch of the “Windhoek Chapter” of the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011 to 2020 at Zoo Park this week. (Photograph by Lorato Khobetsi)

The City of Windhoek became the first Local Authority in the country to adopt its own chapter of the Decade for Action for Road Safety 2011 – 2020. Windhoek has 47% of all registered vehicles in the country and accounts for 7000 crashes annually resulting in 1600 injuries of which about 40 are fatal.
In 2010, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed “A decade of action for road safety 2011- 2020”, with the projected goal of reducing traffic fatalities through increased, well-planned and coordinated activities at regional, national and global levels.
The Namibian Chapter of the Decade of Action 2011-2020 was launched by H.E. President Hifikepunye Pohamba, on 11 May last year but the national chapter did not immediately lead to action at urban level.
According to Elaine Trepper, Mayor of the City of Windhoek, the City supports the Decade of Action  and has indicated its commitment in joining the rest of the world in the fight to reduce the daily tragedies that occurs on roads.
“Bad attitude remains the main contributing factor to road carnage as a result of excessive speeding and contempt of traffic rules. If we are to change the attitude, we must focus on our young people who are the motorists of tomorrow. Instilling a sense of appreciation for road safety and developing a culture of responsible road usage will shape the future of road safety not only in the city but the country at large,” she said.
She further said, most victims of road crashes are economically active youth between the ages of 18 and 35, hence the City’s decision to adopt the motto “Catch the Young” which is awareness creation amongst the youth on all corners of the City.
“Through the Catch the Young motto, we have managed to inculcate a culture of a clean City and environmental protection amongst our children. I therefore have no doubt that with the same approach we will succeed in changing our residents’ attitude on road safety,” she added.
The executive secretary of the National Road Safety Council, Eugene Tendekule said, it is important to discard the perception that road crashes are mainly due to fate and bad luck.
“This notion is perpetuated by the contineus use of the term “accident” which denotes misfortune or an act of God. Road crashes are not acts of God, they are caused and thus they can be prevented,” he said.
The City gave a clear commitment to eradicating criminal taxi behaviour by effective policing and law enforcement.

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