RA impressed with 90 percent compliance over festive season

Tujoromajo Kasuto

Road’s Authority Transportation Executive Officer, Sidney Boois, says that the regulator has recorded 90 percent safety and traffic rules compliance post the festive season.

The monitoring team covered the B1 south that connects windhoek to Keetmanshoop, B1 north between Windhoek, Otjiwarongo and Otavi.

Additionally, the B2 between the capital and the coastal towns.

Boois says that basesd on the situation on the ground at various check points and roadblocks there is a high compliance on the part of motorist.

“We reflect that from the number of cars and drivers that we checked and would then analyse how sunctions would be issued from such,” he said.

He added that the most common issues observed amongst the 10 percent non-compliance predominantly involves the mechanics of the vehicles.

“This involves tire conditions which are not up to standard such as tire depth which entails the risk factor of the types of crushes reported such as vichecles overturning, we observe at random check points with some of the vehicles is that those missing the checks would at times end up in accidents, “ he notes.

He said there are three types of crushes that accounted for either serious or fatal injuries, with over 50 to 40 percent of those crashes being rollovers.

Rollovers are single Vehicle accidents.

Boois maintained that the analysis of crashes revealed that the underlying factors from rollovers amongst others include mechanical failures such as poor vehicle maintenance agrivated by circumstances such as overloading and speeding.

He further notes that the second type of crashes are collisions which he says is due to decision errors.

The third crash statistics are the crashes involving pedestrians and Boois says that from sporadic checks they observed majority victims were under the influence of substances.

“The new trend is now the drinking and walking which is a compromising for accidents, that’s why crashes involving pedestrians are among the top three type crashes causing serious or fatal injuries” he explained.

Boois however could not disclose the number of accidents recorded thus far, during the festive season, adding that the statistics will only be availed at a later stage.

The Motor Vehicle Fund (MVA) in the first week of December 2022 recorded a 19 percent decrease in crashes and a 50 percent decrease in injuries when compared to the same period in 2021.

According to MVA’s Chief Executive Officer, Rosalia Martins-Hausiku, a total of 78 crashes resulted in 18 deaths and 145 injuries of varying severity.

Additionally , the Khomas region had the most crashes (18), followed by Oshikoto (8), Erongo (7), and Otjozondjupa (7).

Boois said the trend retained and this is not a surprise as these are the main transport routes for most holiday destinations.

Meanwhile, Oshikoto, Kunene, and Hardap had the fewest number of crashes, each with one.

Similarly, Erongo, Otjozondjupa, Hardap, and Omaheke each had one fatality.

Martins-Hausiku had noted that pedestrian-related crashes accounted for the greatest number of crashes (18), followed by roll-over crashes (12) and head-on collisions with 11 cases.

“Factors such as driver fatigue, inattentiveness, inappropriate driver behavior, driving under the influence of alcohol and exceeding prescribed speed limits contribute to the occurrence of these types of crashes,” she expressed.

Furthermore, the MVA emphasized that the severity of injury sustained in these crashes increases the likelihood of fatality, with roll-overs and collisions accounting for 62 percent of total fatalities.

According to MVA, the main areas of focus during the Festive Season period we’re driver fitness, vehicle fitness, and passenger safety.

This follows data compiled from this year by the MVA Fund Emergency Call Centre which showed that 4529 people were injured and 398 died last year.

The Khomas, Erongo, Oshana, Otjozondjupa, Oshikoto, and Ohangwena regions accounted for 81 percent of all recorded crashes.

The same regions accounted for 76 percent of injuries and 63 percent of fatalities, with 71 percent of deceased drivers being men.

Additionally, 55 percent of drivers were between the ages of 25 and 44, and 82 percent of crashes involved pedestrians, collisions, or rollovers.

According to research by the Fund, human behavior accounts for 70 percent of all road accidents.

This includes driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, using a cell phone while driving or crossing the street, failing to wear a seatbelt, and driving without a driver’s license, which are all prohibited.

By Observer