Bicycles teach basics of road safety
In furtherance to road and pedestrian safety, Mobile Telecommunications Ltd (MTC) joined by road safety stakeholders, the National Road Safety Council (NRSC) and the Motor Vehicle Accident Fund (MVA), last week donated 18 bicycles and safety gear to the SOS Children Village in Khomasdal, as part of the communications company’s drive to secure pedestrian safety within the broader context of road safety.
Speaking at the event, Sydney Boois the MVA Fund’s senior manager of accident and injury prevention said that cycling as an alternative transport solution has taken shape in the world and in Namibia as scholars and professionals alike have taken to peddling as a means of transport especially in congested urban settings.
Boois stressed that safety should be put first saying that statistics show that in 2015, 154 crashes involving cyclists were recorded, out of which 151 injuries and fatalities were reported. The senior manager said that crashes and injuries involving cyclists increased by 3% and 17% respectively, whereas fatalities decreased by 12%. “We are not going to give over the bicycles until the children are taught how to use the bicycles safely. We want to make sure that the kids are empowered in road safety. SOS can be the first institution to have a cycling safety programme.” Boois said.
Joseph Mundjindi, the manager for sponsorship and promotions at MTC said it is against this background that MTC engaged the various road safety ambassadors for support to promote bicycle safety at the SOS Children Village. The bikes were procured at the amount of N$25,000 by the MTC Wellness Department through the company’s annual team building and wellness programme.
Mundjindi said “cycling is an attractive alternative for safer roads as it will lead to less vehicle movement on the roads, whilst encouraging healthy bodies. We are mindful that the urban design of major Namibian areas has not been designed with a cycle-friendly environment and we are hopeful that authorities will consider a move in this direction to establish cycle routes as part of their future major road designs.”