Easter crashes decline

44 road accidents reported

25 April 2019 | Accidents

The number of car crashes on Namibian roads took a drastic nosedive this past Easter weekend compared with previous years.

A total of 44 crashes were reported, compared to 68 in 2018 and 64 in 2017.

Compared to last year however, the total number of fatalities over the 2019 Easter weekend increased by 60%, with eight people who died in accidents compared to five over the same weekend last year.

This is in marked contrast to the 72% decline in fatalities over the Easter weekend between 2017 and 2018.

In 2017, road authorities recorded 18 deaths as a result of car accidents over the Easter weekend compared to five in 2018.

The number of persons who sustained injuries as a result of accidents over the Easter weekend this year totalled 99, compared to 98 last year and 177 in 2017.

The number of accidents over the congested weekend on Namibian roads has seen a steady decline over the past few years, with 81 crashes reported to the Motor Vehicle Accident (MVA) Fund in 2016, 64 in 2017, 68 in 2018 and 44 this year.

On Friday, Titus Makili (51) died after the vehicle he was in overturned and burst into flames. The police on Tuesday confirmed that the accident occurred on Friday morning around 60 km before Otjiwarongo, after the 49-year-old driver lost control of the double cab in which he was travelling with five others, including Makili, another adult and four children.

The other passengers survived.

On Saturday, Lukas Nambwanga (40), a member of the Namibian Defence Force died when the double-cab he was driving overturned.

Nambwanga's two-year-old son, Olavi Namgwanga, and his partner, Theresia Alfeus (31) also died at the scene of the accident, on a gravel road near Ongwediva.

Three other passengers who had been in the vehicle at the time were admitted to hospital for injuries.

Aupaki Kaemupe (31) died on Saturday after he was run over by a car near Kamanjab.

The driver of the vehicle left the scene.

Kaemupe was admitted to hospital but did not survive. The police continue to investigate and are attempting to locate the hit-and-run driver. Five South Africans sustained slight injuries on Friday, after the Land Cruiser they were travelling in overturned on the gravel road between Maltahöhe and Helmeringshausen.

The Easter weekend was preceded by a multi-stakeholder road safety campaign, the Easter

Public Passenger Transport Campaign, spearheaded by several road safety partners including the police and the MVA Fund in collaboration with transport associations, private sector agencies and volunteers, to clamp down on the number of accidents during the period.

Last week, in a public statement urging motorists to drive safely, MVA Fund's Surihe Gaomas-Guchu, appealed to passengers using public transport to “speak up for their own safety as they risk death or serious injury by condoning bad driving behaviour”.

She said the fund and other stakeholders “remain concerned about the recent upsurge in mass casualties involving public transportation and request all role-players to ensure that lives are not lost this Easter”.

The Easter passenger transport campaign focused not only on increasing road safety awareness to all drivers and motorists, but was particularly focused on passengers dependent on public transport during high traffic periods especially on the national roads.