Mutjavikua urges all road users to exercise patience and respect the rules of the road

The Erongo Regional Road Safety Forum (ERRSF) hosted its 2nd Mini Conference yesterday, 20 October in Swakopmund to promote safer roads in Namibia with the emphasis on “Drive Safe, Secure the Future”. The conference took place at Tamariskia town hall.

During the conference the Governor of Erongo Region Mr Cleophas Mutjavikua said the promotion of road safety in Namibia is becoming a complex issue that should not be left in the hands of a single organisation. He further said that the Namibian roads are congested because the economy is growing and more people are empowered to invest in auto mobiles, thus increasing road user exposure risk.
The youth need to understand that, yes there is policing but police must not be used as the only deterrent measure to ensure road safety, the situation of road safety calls for more efforts whereby the mindset is one of it and it must be inculcated at the school level said Mutjavikua. He believes that a person must learn to be responsible from a very young age, so young people must be educated to be responsible. According to Mutjavikua, speeding, using cellular phones while driving, over loading of vehicles and driving under the influence of alcohol are offences which contribute to road accidents. “As we are approaching the festive season, we should put some serious measures in place, I know the emphasis is on policing, but the emphasis must be on the mindset shift. People must start thinking differently about our roads and responsibility to make sure that we are not here to kill ourselves on the roads, but to ensure that we arrive at our destination safely” adds Mutjavikua.
Sugnet Smith, the Corporate Communications Officer of Areva Namibia announced that Areva Namibia have produced some road safety equipment which they will be giving to various school patrols before the end of the school year. Emergency response officers from different ambulance services and guys from the Swakopmund Fire Brigade were there to showcase some of the equipment they use during road accidents such as the “Jaws of Life.”
In conclusion the governor urged all road users to exercise patience and respect the rules of the road, “to save lives as we are entering the festive season. We are aware that some driver’s attitudes are changing as soon as they pass the roadblocks and after the roadblocks they accelerate, we think that the roadblocks are only there to obstruct us when we have to be faster. Furthermore we need to inculcate in every driver on our national roads the habit of defensive driving.” He also said traffic officers should be everywhere, visible and vigilant on the roads to slow traffic down.
Inspector Nghaamwa of the Namibian Police (NamPol) in Erongo region shared some road accidents statistics which indicates that during the festive season of 2014/15 1 December to 15 January the number of fatalities recorded were 15, number of injuries 56 and number of accidents 333, during 2015/16 1 December to 15 January the fatalities recorded were 8, number of injuries 27 and accidents 231.
The objective of the Regional Road Safety Forum (RRSF) is to bring together, at the regional level, all stakeholders serving on various Road Safety Theme Committees to enable integration and cross pollination of ideas and organisational activities with the aim of achieving synergy, co-ordination and harmonious action in the promotion of road safety. In addition, RRSF are meant to ensure wider participation in issues of road safety for sustainable nationwide impact.

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