Over 4 000 injured since January

Between 1 January this year and 15 September, 2 503 crashes were reported to the MVA Fund in which 4 068 people were injured and 424 road users died.

02 October 2019 | Accidents

The role of women in making Namibian roads safer for all was highlighted at the second annual Women in Road Safety conference and expo at Mariental.

“As women it is for us to find our voice for safer roads, for the safety and protection of our families and communities and to minimise the impact of road crashes on our national economy,” Rosalia Martins-Hausiku, CEO of the Motor Vehicle Accident (MVA) Fund, said at the conference recently.

She urged women from all walks of life to recognise the critical role they play in pushing the agenda for safer roads to reduce the loss of lives and to become active participants in the reduction of road carnage in Namibia. In September, Namibian Sun reported that a total of 101 people had died in 335 car crashes around Namibia over a period of a month.

Statistics from the MVA Fund showed that by 13 August, the fund had noted a 5% decline in fatalities compared to the same period last year. By 15 September, however, following a steep increase in crashes, fatalities had shot up by 8% compared to the previous year, from 323 on 13 August 2019 to 424 by 15 September.

Between 1 January this year and 15 September, 2 503 crashes had been reported to the MVA Fund, and 4 068 people were injured in those crashes. At the conference, Martins-Hausiku called on “every woman in our country to initiate road-safety activities and champion road safety at community, corporate and regional levels, as well as relevant stakeholders to establish terms of reference for such championships.”

She also challenged all women in leadership positions to advocate for road safety at home, in the community and the workplace to embrace the role “that we should play in the interest of saving lives on our roads.”

Hardap Region governor Esme Isaack showed strong support for the role of women in road safety.

“When you educate mothers and women, you have reached and empowered a nation,” she said.

The conference was held from 18 to 19 September and was attended by more than 100 participants. They ranged from regional governors to councillors, police officers, representatives of the road accident funds of South Africa and Botswana, and members of the legal and business fraternities.

The main objectives of the conference were to instil in all road users a sense of personal responsibility and prioritisation of road safety, with a special focus on the role and influence of women. International ­relations deputy minister Christine //Hoebes said road safety is a collective responsibility. She said national development plans strive to improve the lives of all citizens, and that can only be achieved “when all actors in the road safety fraternity, including others in the public and private sector, join government in addressing our shortfalls.”These shortfalls could be in governance, legal frameworks or the implementation of the national road-safety strategy.

“It goes without saying that this phenomenon requires a multisectoral approach,” she said.

The event was held in partnership with the Automobile Association of Namibia under the theme 'Women Influence for Safe Roads.' Governor Isaack praised the MVA Fund for cementing strategic relations which will see the opening of an emergency medical rescue service base and the establishment of a traffic play park for children at Mariental.

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