Road safety hamstrung by lack of funds

The works minister Alpheus !Naruseb says the N$191 million shortfall in the NRSC budget does not indicate there is no political will to curb road deaths and accidents.

12 January 2018 | Accidents

Works and transport minister Alpheus !Naruseb this week insisted there is sufficient political will to tackle the road accident epidemic at a time when the National Road Safety Council (NRSC) says a chronic lack of funds and capacity blocks them from carrying out their mandate.

Nampa on Tuesday reported that Ambrosius Tierspoor, head of corporate communication at NRSC, this week said they the council needs around N$200 million to fully execute its mandate.

However, the council received only N$9 million during the 2017/18 financial year.

In December, NRSC executive director Eugene Sipopo Tendekule told Namibian Sun that “because of the myriad of challenges such as lack of capacity, lack of funding and lack of staffing, the NRSC is hamstrung in terms of fulfilling its mandate.”

He said that if the NRSC could access adequate resources, both human and financial, they would “do more than what is being done at the moment”.

Tendekule listed “political will” to “accomplish good results” and “proper funding” as two of the top components needed to solve the high rate of accidents in Namibia, alongside several other criteria.

He added that the cost of road crashes to the economy amounts to more than N$1.3 billion.

“This is not commensurate with the current level of funding, hence road safety funding remains an on-going challenge,” Tendekule said.

Horst Heimstadt of the Private Sector Road Safety Forum (PSRSF) told Namibian Sun in December that “political will and law enforcement is a major concern in controlling this bad behaviour on our roads.”

He said politicians rarely speak up on the topic and mostly only get involved after a person or persons close to them are involved in an accident.

However !Naruseb defended government’s road safety efforts this week.

He told Nampa that the budgetary allocation to the NRSC does not translate into a lack of political will from government side.

“From where I stand, it does not get any higher than the political will that I have been manifesting thus far. I believe that we will overcome that burden,” the minister said.

He further told the news agency that “if you juxtapose the money that we spend in terms of dealing with those who perish on our roads; to rehabilitate those who get maimed on our roads [and] those who are not able to move on their own… we spend money to do all those things.”

Both Tendekule and Heimstadt in December said that the majority of crashes are behaviour-related and road users carry a large burden of responsibility for the high crash incidences in Namibia.

“More than 90% of all our crashes are behaviour-related,” Heimstadt said.

However, changing driver attitudes will require multiple approaches and the commitment from multiple stakeholders, both said.

“I agree that the level of lawlessness is prevalent on our roads. Road rules are violated with impunity,” Tendekule said.

He added that traffic courts are clogged with outstanding cases which add to the problem and said there is an urgent need to amend out-dated legislation regulating road safety.

Heimstadt said the cooperation between law enforcement, and justice “is a major concern” in addition to a lack of law enforcement officers.

He pointed out that the current structures and systems in place to regulate road users are faulty and needs to be overhauled to be more effective.

“The fact that we are not winning the war against road safety incidents in spite of major efforts underway really answers the question on whether the authorities are fulfilling their mandate. There are many passionate organisations that would like to contribute, but lack of funding is a big problem.”

!Naruseb yesterday said the statistics indicate that road safety improved this year.

“The overall situation on the roads have significantly improved over the period 2017/18 as compared to the previous festive season [2016/17] as crashes decreased by 28%, injuries by 23% and fatalities by 15%,” he said.

JANA-MARI SMITH

Similar News

 

Drowned boy found

3 days ago - 18 January 2018 | Accidents

The body of Mushinonge Ulinana (13), who drowned in the Calueque-Oshakati canal at Epalela in the Omusati Region, was recovered on Tuesday afternoon after NamWater...

Drowned boy not found yet

5 days ago - 16 January 2018 | Accidents

The family of Mushinonge Ulinana, 13, who drowned in the Calueque-Oshakati canal at Epalela in Omusati Region, are demanding that NamWater stop pumping water into...

Road safety hamstrung by lack of funds

1 week ago - 12 January 2018 | Accidents

Works and transport minister Alpheus !Naruseb this week insisted there is sufficient political will to tackle the road accident epidemic at a time when the...

Crash victims identified

1 week ago - 10 January 2018 | Accidents

The police have released the names of eight of the ten people who died in two accidents on Monday. Two victims are yet to be...

Drunk drivers terrorise Namibian roads

1 week ago - 10 January 2018 | Accidents

Namibia's epidemic of drunk driving remains a deadly problem despite repeated calls from lawmakers and others for Namibians to change their risky behaviour.“It's still a...

Four dead in Ondangwa crash

1 week ago - 09 January 2018 | Accidents

Four people died yesterday morning when a Toyota Corolla and a Toyota bakkie belonging to the Northern Regions Electricity Distribution Company (Nored) collided head-on at...

Two crashes claim six

1 week ago - 08 January 2018 | Accidents

Four were killed this morning around 10:00 in a crash between a Toyota Corolla and a Hilux bakkie at Ondangwa. The Corolla is said to...

Police swoop down on drunk drivers

1 week ago - 08 January 2018 | Accidents

Nearly 30 people were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol in the Omaheke Region over the festive season.The police's Chief Inspector David Ndove...

Young boy drowns at Henties Bay

2 weeks ago - 05 January 2018 | Accidents

A ten-year-old boy drowned near Henties Bay after he was swept out to sea by strong waves on Wednesday.According to the Erongo crime investigation coordinator,...

Ya geelwa omolwa okutaaguluka oompangu dhomoondjila

2 weeks ago - 05 January 2018 | Accidents

Aahingi yiihauto ya thika po 3 200 moshitopolwa shaTjozondjupa, oya halika koshikondo shoompango dhomoondjila shi na nuutekete inawu futwa mboka ya pewa pokati ko 2015...

Latest News

Germany's first blow in genocide...

2 days ago - 19 January 2018 | Justice

As was expected the German government through its Washington lawyers appealed to the New York federal court to dismiss the Nama and OvaHerero lawsuit, but...

Hambukushu committee in dramatic U-turn

2 days ago - 19 January 2018 | Cultural

In a dramatic twist, a committee established by the Hambukushu tribe with the sole mandate to force local chief Erwin Munika Mbambo to relinquish power,...

Building strong ­relationships

2 days ago - 19 January 2018 | Supplements

TUNOHOLE MUNGOBAAn average day of a sales consultant in the world of vehicle and asset finance begins with an administrative focus to finalise all applications...

Alleged double killer gets new...

2 days ago - 19 January 2018 | Justice

A man accused of killing two women and burning their bodies at a dumpsite in Windhoek in January 2016 now has a new state-funded defence...

Pensioners given the run-around

2 days ago - 19 January 2018 | Government

CATHERINE SASMANAn elderly couple claim to have been given misleading information about re-registration for state pensions last week.The couple, preferring anonymity, say they went to...

Bank Windhoek appoints procurement head...

2 days ago - 19 January 2018 | Supplements

Joubert has over 20 years’ experience in the procurement environment in both the public and financial sectors, including supply chain processes such as receipting, warehousing,...

When to give an annual...

2 days ago - 19 January 2018 | Supplements

Luck of the draw. Some companies have a firm policy that says that employees who haven’t been with the company for at least a full...

Fransfontein hostel: Ministry steps in

2 days ago - 19 January 2018 | Education

Kunene education officials have jumped into action after slum-like living conditions at a Khorixas school hostel came to light this month, vowing to render assistance...

Angola to issue US$2 bln...

2 days ago - 19 January 2018 | Economics

Stephen Eisenhammer - Angola plans to issue a Eurobond and renegotiate bilateral debt in 2018 as part of measures aimed at restructuring the economy and...

Load More