MVA fund warns against reckless driving
It is the dawn of re-opening of the schools after the school break and a surge of vehicles is expected on our roads as learners and teachers return home from the holidays and to school for the last academic term.
This will expose such learners and teachers to an imminent risk of road crashes and resultant injury and fatality.
The MVA fund urged parents and guardians to safeguard their children on the road so as to ensure that the children arrive safely at home and school hostels, and are able to complete the school year without the occurrence of unfortunate death or hindrance of injuries sustained in a motor vehicle crash.
According to the MVA Fund Call Centre, children under 15 years of age represented 6% of total injuries and 11% of total fatalities during 2016. Children in this age group are in most cases vulnerable to pedestrian-related crashes which accounted for 26% injuries and 50% fatalities in the same year. The majority of the children under the age of 15 years who lost their lives in road crashes were passengers (48%).
Another age group of concern is that of young people between 16 and 35 years as the majority of those that died during the year 2016 were in this age group (44%), representing a vibrant and young group of society who are in the prime of their lives.
“They made up for nearly half (3,280; 48%) of all persons injured in crashes during the same year while fatalities for this critical age group consisted of passengers (50%), drivers (24%), pedestrians (22%) and cyclists (4%). These statistics show that children and the youth particularly are more vulnerable to pedestrian related crashes and are prone to injury and death as passengers,” the MVA Fund said.
The MVA Fund therefore called on drivers to: ensure increased awareness of pedestrians, exercise extra caution when driving on gravel roads, remain sober while driving, ensure that vehicles are fit, avoid overloading of vehicles, keep to prescribed speed limits and ensure that all passengers wear seat belts.