Major road safety centre for Arandis

Arandis will soon host a fully functional emergency response and road traffic management centre. The centre, officially known as the Arandis Emergency Response and Traffic Management Centre (AERTMC), is now under construction at a total price tag of N$127 million.

The ground-breaking ceremony took place at Arandis recently and will play a revolutionary role for road safety between Swakopmund and Usakos, some 140km east of the holiday town.
Studies show the most accidents on the B2 highway occurs within a radius close to Arandis, in both directions to Swakopmund and Usakos.
The Arandis Town Council, in conjunction with the National Road Safety Council and Erongo Regional Council, took action and soon the idea was born of AERTMC.
Once completed, AERTMC will form the backbone of a traffic safety net-work along the B2 highway between Swakopmund and Usakos. That would include close circuit television along the route, permanently placed speed cameras, hi-tech devices that can weigh vehicles on the move, as well as electronic information signs that warns motorists on traffic hazards ahead.
The Centre will also be the pivot for first responders to accident scenes and to transport the injured to medical facilities within shorter response times.
The Deputy Minister of Works and Transport, Veikko Nekundi, during the ground-breaking said road safety remains one of the major concerns of the Namibian Government. Road accidents cost several hundred lives every year. It leaves survivors of accidents often handicapped afterwards or people requires extended periods to recover from injuries. It comes at a huge cost. It deprives people of their loved ones and it robs the country of productive people.
“Contemporary records show that on average we lose about 600 lives per year to road accidents. This translates into about 27 lives per hundred thousand inhabitants. As a small country, in terms of demographics, this is a figure our economy cannot afford in perpetuity”, explained Nekundi.
According to Nekunde the B2 road that stretch from Arandis to Usakos or Arandis to Swakopmund has been a thorn in the flesh for years and many people have succumbed to injuries sustained in road accidents while being transported for medical treatment.
“This part of the road contains sections that are commonly referred to as blackspots. These are section that characterised by high frequencies of high velocity and high impact crashes. Two of these are situated around ten KM east and 30 KM west of Arandis” Nekunde added.
Nekunde added: “You will agree with me that this is a huge milestone in the country’s road safety history. Looking back, the Arandis Town Council in 2016 formally invited the National Road Safety Council of Namibia to consider partnering with them in the development and management of its envisaged emergency centre. Hence, I am delighted to state that this initiative has finally become a reality”.
“I call upon all, particularly those tasked with the responsibility to implement public projects on which the lives of our people depend, to do so with a sense of urgency” Nekunde said.
Nekunde concluded the centre would ensure peace of mind to all motorists using the road, as it will be monitored 24/7, in order to try and prevent accidents from occurring, render improved emergency response and ensure road user compliance through use of new state-of-the-art technology.

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