Traffic deaths down 4% in four years – News

Traffic deaths down 4% in four years – News

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Works and Transport John Mutorwa says road traffic deaths have dropped dramatically over the past four years.

He says the number of deaths in proportion to the number of accidents has fallen from 18% in 2019 to 14% in 2023.

Deaths are said to have been on a downward trend, with a 30% reduction from 609 in 2019 to 423 in 2023.

Mutorwa said this at the ninth annual road safety conference held in Ongwediva on Wednesday.

“Deaths per 10,000 vehicles have also been reduced by 32%, from 15.2% in 2019 to 10.3% in 2023. On the other hand, injuries per 100,000 inhabitants have also been reduced by 59%, from 250.5% in 2019 to 101.5% in 2023.

“As a nation and as stakeholders in this subsector, we must measure and improve where necessary,” he said.

He added that the use of motor vehicles enables mobility and promotes socio-economic progress on a global scale.

“Yet every year, motor vehicles are involved in accidents and incidents that result in millions of deaths and injuries. According to the World Health Organization, low- and middle-income countries, which account for around 60% of the world’s motor vehicles, are responsible for 93% of road deaths globally,” Mutorwa said.

He said road safety, being multi-sectoral in nature, must be addressed by all stakeholders from government, private sector and civil society.

“In addition to signing cooperation agreements, all implementing agencies need to demonstrate greater ownership of their assigned roles and responsibilities. Implementation of the annual plan to be developed at this conference requires the commitment and dedication of all stakeholders and implementing agencies,” Mutorwa said.

Mutorwa said that over the past 34 years, many strategies have been developed across all public enterprises and government departments, but not all of them have had the required implementation and the gap in strategy execution is one of the key problems Namibia is experiencing.

“To ensure that Namibia’s road safety initiatives are in line with international best practices, there is a need for ongoing research and benchmarking to create an adequate body of knowledge for the subsector. Policies, regulations and laws must be aligned with current trends to be effective,” he said.

The Chairman of the National Road Safety Council (NRSC), Eliphas !Owos-Oab, says the adoption of international practices endorsed by the United Nations has inspired Namibia to develop its road safety strategy in line with global imperatives.

“The first Decade of Action (2011-2020) presented challenges because it was not well communicated, understood or accepted by all key actors. It became clear that the strategy’s social outcome indicators were poorly defined, the baselines were inaccurate and the targets unrealistic,” she says.

He says the conference seeks to strengthen performance monitoring and evaluation to improve pillar-based performance management.

“Late last year, the NRSC initiated the procurement of an electronic balanced scorecard to document the implementation of the strategy. Pillar committee members were trained during November 2022 and are now expected to provide feedback within the framework of the balanced scorecard,” he said.

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