Motor vehicle accidents and injuries related have reduced with 14.4 percent and 17.5 percent respectively, while fatalities have reduced by 42.2 percent compared to the previous festive season road safety campaign period.
This is according to the latest 2022/23 festive season road safety report of the Motor Vehicle Accident Fund (MVA). Namibia recorded 403 road crashes in 2022, compared to 471 in 2021.
The fund revealed that injuries stood at 766 in 2022 and 928 in 2021, while fatalities stood at 67 in 2022 and 116 in 2021. In addition to this, Oshana,Otjozondjupa and Oshikoto recorded the most fatalities ranging from 8-12 in both 2021/22 festive seasons respectively as compared to other regions.
Although these results show that considerable effort was applied during the festive operations, the report indicates that there is still concern that Khomas region claimed the highest count of crashes at 23.3 percent followed by Erongo and Otjozondjupa region at 15 percent and 11.6 percent whereas Otjozondjupa, Oshikoto and Oshana scooped the highest fatality at 12 percent each.
Based on these figures, the report further indicates that enforcement, education and community support should be strengthened in these regions jointly by the stakeholders throughout the year.
“We hope to continue improving on such efforts to even eliminate the carnage on our roads altogether”, the report read. During the 2022/23 festive season, coinciding with the 2021/22 and 2020/21 festive season, the age group between 24-34 was the highest distribution of fatalities consistently across the past three festive seasons recorded.
Meanwhile, one of the fund’s crucial aspect for successful campaign operation is appropriate funding of the key execution areas such as public education campaigns, traffic law enforcement, emergency response as well as monitoring and evaluation.
However, direct road safety funding are said to have deteriorated and year-long campaigns are no longer possible at the moment.
MVA Chief Executive Officer Rosalia Hausiku-Martins added that key committees (Public Education, Traffic Law Enforcement, Emergency Response as well as Monitoring and Evaluation) that should be operational and collaborate during the festive season ought to find synergy in the implementation of the various activities and initiatives.
“Such organizational silos, or information silos, are basically teams that have distanced themselves from each other and possess information that the other teams don’t. Teams from different stakeholders not communicating and cooperating across information siloed teams mean that the silos act as blockages to the information flow in a company,” Hausiku-Martins explained.
The CEO stressed that early planning of festive season road safety campaign activities alongside other educational and awareness raising activities will help with proper resource mobilisation.
Moreover, the report is recommending that data committee needs to be activated with clear terms of reference in order to collect, collate and analyse crash data which is essential to evaluate treatments and policies that have been introduced.
These types of evaluations are said to provide a crucial knowledge base about the effectiveness of a given treatment, as well as ensuring that current programmes are providing the expected and desired results.
Furthermore, the report also recommends that a centralised data collection platform or database that includes information on fatal and injury crashes is crucial. The intention of the database is to provide the basis for analysis, as centralisation will allow for detailed analyses and reduction in cases of under-reporting.
The report is the result of consolidated input from the National Road safety Council, the MVA Fund, Namibian Police, the Roads Authority, Local Authority Traffic Police and Ministry of Works and Transport, City of Windhoek, Walvisbay Traffic, Swakopmund Traffic, Keetmanshoop Traffic, Otjiwarongo and Hentiesbay Traffic, the Namibia Road Safety Forum, Automobile Association of Namibia as well as the Media.
“All agencies executing initiatives during these festive season campaigns must hold the bigger picture in mind rather than individual corporate objectives because every effort holds the lives of Namibian citizens on our roads”, reiterated Hausiku-Martin.