Road Safety Council disputes fatalities report
The fatality rate per 100,000 population currently stands at 30.01, however, with the upsurge recorded in fatalities over the past few months, this is likely to increase.
The National Road Safety Council (NSRC) and the MVA Fund are both up in arms over an international report that fingers Namibia as the country with the highest road fatalities in the world.
According WHO rankings released in 2012 based on road crash data for 201, Namibia was ranked 35th in the world, and 3rd in SADC, behind South Africa and Lesotho. Namibia’s fatality rate per 100,000 population was pegged at 25.00.
This is in sharp contrast to claims by the Transport Research Institute of Michigan, USA, ranking Namibia as the country with the highest road deaths per capita in the world.
The MVA Fund said this week “it is important to note that even with the slight difference in the figures, Namibia’s ranking will not be at the top of the table, compared to countries such as South Africa and Lesotho.”
Equally damning reports were also published by the World Life Expectancy website (www.worldlifeexpectancy.com), the WHO website as well as the Sivak and Schoettle (2014) “study on Mortality from Road Crashes in 193 Countries.
The NRSC and the MVA Fund said these reports must be clarified and the information is wrong. “They [the reports] are misleading and detrimental to Namibia’s good image and reputation. Hence, the records must be set straight based on actual data at our disposal.”
The NRSC, the MVA Fund and the Ministry of Works and Transport are concerned about road fatalities. Based on data collected at various points including crash scenes, hospitals, the police and claims submitted to the MVA Fund, the NSRC and MVA are of the opinion that the situation has not reached a magnitude as claimed on the websites. “Furthermore both NRSC who is the final custodian of national accident data and the MVA Fund being the final recipient of all road crash related data in Namibia have never contributed to data held by the WHO’s Department of Measurement and Health Information before the rankings were released, and therefore cannot conclusively support same.”
The NRSC and the MVA Fund admit that the road fatalities are on a disturbing level but not as portrayed in the citation and media reports. “All responsible entities are working tirelessly to stabilize the situation as per the aspirations and objectives of the Namibian Chapter of the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011 to 2020.”
Plotting the fatalities per 100,000 population on a graph for the years 2008 to 2013, it shows the upward trend in fatality rates between 2012 and 2013.
The lowest was recorded in 2008 at which time the fatality rate stood at 13.01. There was a sharp increase in 2009 and 2010, with a slight decrease in 2011.
The fatality rate per 100,000 population currently stands at 30.01, however, with the upsurge recorded in fatalities over the past few months, this is likely to increase. The latest data indicates that the number of crashes is increasing at an average of 16.3% per year. Although there is a slight decrease from 2012 to 2013, this may however prove insignificant as the number of injuries is increasing at an average rate of 14.6% per year.