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Road crashes claim 218 lives in first quarter of 2013

Deputy Minister of Works and Transport,  Hon. Kilus Nguvauva and Chief of Corporate Affairs at the MVA Fund, Stephen Tjiuoro at the launch of the Xupifa Eemwenyo report (Photograph by Hilma Hashange)

Deputy Minister of Works and Transport, Hon. Kilus Nguvauva and Chief of Corporate Affairs at the MVA Fund, Stephen Tjiuoro at the launch of the Xupifa Eemwenyo report (Photograph by Hilma Hashange)

The Motor Vehicle Accident (MVA) Fund has released a report indicating that the total number of road accident fatalities since the beginning of the year, stood at 218 as at 25 March, with a total of 34 casualties reported in the month of February alone.
The figure increased from 94 fatalities recorded in a stakeholders report released by the MVA Fund’s Road Safety Campaign, Xupifa Eemwenyo “Save Lives” which commenced on 22 November 2012 and ended on 15 January 2013.
A total of 560 road crashes were reported during the campaign period, which is an increase of 24%  from the 453 cases reported during the 2011/2012 campaign.
The report summarizes the achievements and challenges encountered during the campaign roll-out. Discussed in specifics are the intended interventions for road safety in general, as well as the statistical break-down for the first three months of 2013, including comparisons to the 2012 statistics.
During the period of the campaign, the report shows that a total of 99,235 vehicles were stopped and inspected at the 18 permanent road check points. 5027 alcohol tests were performed of which 221 summonses were issued to drivers whose alcohol level was found to be the above prescribed blood alcohol limit. A total of 3038 summonses were issued for speeding, 170 summonses for vehicle overloading and at least 125 drivers were issued summonses for using cellphones whilst driving.
According to data indicated in the report, a consistent increase in the number of crashes is noticed during the last three years. The region that recorded the highest number of road crashes is Khomas  with a total of 179 cases followed by Oshana and Oshikoto whilst the Kunene region recorded the lowest number of crashes with only 10 reported.
For the second consecutive year, Otjozondjupa region recorded the highest number of fatalities with 18 followed by Oshikoto region with 13 fatalities. Both Kunene and Omaheke regions reported only one fatality each. Pedestrians accounted for the most fatalities – 38 out of a total of 94 fatalities. Road crash victims that top the list were people between the ages of 21 and 30 while 75 males died in road crashes in comparison to 19 females.
Challenges encountered during the campaign period include a lack of manpower, lack of transport facilities needed to be dispatched to accident sites as well as a lack of training of traffic officers for advanced first aid and accident reconstruction courses.
Established in 2008, the campaign had set three strategic objectives namely to support law enforcement agencies, improve emergency response capacity and enhance road safety awareness among road users. The campaign has in the last five years, maintained its three key objectives through which the fund ultimately aims to enhance road safety and reduce the occurrence of road crashes and fatalities through targeted interventions.
The 2012/2013 road safety campaign was sponsored by various stakeholders who contributed N$540,000 in cash and in kind. New sponsors have joined the Easter road safety campaign which is geared towards reinforcing police efforts in making the country’s roads safer.

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