Safer roads for Erongo

12 May 2016 | Accidents

The Erongo Regional Road Safety Forum (ERRSF) held their first official meeting for the year where they reported on the progress of the forum and activities of the festive season from December 2015 to January 2016 in the Erongo Region. There has been a significant decrease in the number of accidents this year compared to last year.
Between the period 1 December 2014 and January 2015, a total of 334 accidents occurred - 15 of which were fatal, 36 resulted in slight injuries and 20 in serious injuries. Compared to the period 12 December 2015 to 15 January 2016, when there were 231 accidents - eight of which were fatal, 16 resulting in slight injuries and 11 in serious injuries.
Over the period 16 November 2015 and 18 January 2016, a total of 1 512 summons were issued, 42 of which were drunken driving related cases and 592 speed-related offences. Nearly N$1.9 million were collected in fines as a result of the summons.
The forum also introduced 16 new members to spearhead operations for the next two years.
So far the ERRSF established two kid's road safety centres in both Swakopmund and Walvis Bay. The forum also curbed the selling of liquor after hours at service stations in the region.
The West Coast Safety Initiative (WCSI) played an important role alongside the forum. They distributed 29 300 emergency packs December 2015, bringing the total of emergency packs distributed since 2004 to about 343 300. The WCSI has three safety monitoring vehicles which they used strategically during the December holiday period.
According to Ms Nathalie /Gôagoses, chairperson of the ERRSF, says some of the challenges they face are high-ranking officials who do not adhere to the rules and regulations of the road. These offences include speeding, overloading of vehicles and not wearing a seatbelt. “They simply just show us the VIP card and we don't get a chance to even educate them about the importance of road safety,” she elaborates.
The forum made recommendations that a special unit be appointed to curb drinking and driving and that the C34 road behind Dune 7 be tarred to reduce the high density of traffic.
Governor of the Erongo Region, Mr Cleophas Mutjivikua, urged members of the forum to keep building on the momentum of the previous committee members and even to surpass it.
“You have a very important task ahead of you. You are here to make sure operations here in the logistics hub run smoothly. This will require sacrifice, of your time and energy. Let us make sure we are on time whenever it is demanded of us. Let us educate ourselves on all relevant laws and policies pertaining our roads, let us be on top of issues and new developments. This will be no walk in the park but we will walk this bumpy road together. Let us strive for zero road accidents in our region”.
He also reprimanded the media to focus not only on the road accidents but also to report on the planning phases of road safety campaigns. (LL)

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