Statistics provided by the Motor Vehicle Accident (MVA) Fund this week show that road crashes, injuries and fatalities have gone done compared to the same period last year.
Crashes declined by 9 percent, injuries 18 percent while fatalities declined by 31 percent.
Speaking at the launch of the Festive Season Road Safety campaign on Wednesday, MVA Fund Chief Executive Officer, Rosalia Martins-Hausiku, said the declining statistics were an indication that the country was making steady progress in reducing the number of crashes, resultant injuries and fatalities.
She attributed the decline to enhanced collaboration between road safety partners and the general public, whom she said seem to be taking the issue of road safety seriously and are willing to fight against death on the roads.
However, concern was expressed over the prevalence of lawlessness, reckless and careless driving on the roads.
Speeding is said to be the most common traffic infringement followed by unlicensed drivers.
Speaking on the same platform, Minister of Safety and Security, Charles Namoloh, said proper training of drivers was needed in order to curb road accidents.
He called for the regulation of driving schools, saying that many people establish driving schools even without proper papers to do so.
“We have to look at how drivers and vehicles are licensed. Are driving schools regulated well or can anyone just start. If we neglect our responsibility, we are accomplices in terms of road accidents,” Namoloh said.
He discouraged those who were going to other towns to get licences, saying this was giving room to corruption where people end up buying licences without having received proper training.
“It is an attitude problem; we do not abide by the law. Attitude needs to change,” the minister said.
Namibia has been ranked 45th on the road traffic accidents death list in the world.
Based on 2017 figures, Namibia recorded about 700 fatalities and more than 5 000 injuries per year.
According to the World Health Organisation, Namibia’s death rate due to road traffic accidents has reached 3.76 percent of the country’s total deaths, with the adjustable death rate standing at 27.67 percent.
In monetary terms, road crashes exert a huge burden on the Namibian economy.
A study commissioned in 2016 by the National Road Safety Council and carried out by Ernst and Young established that the cost of road crashes to the Namibian economy amounts to N$1.3 billion per year.
According to Martins-Hausiku, the fund spends an average of N$180 million per year on medical costs.
“If we save that over four years, we are able to build a trauma hospital in Namibia,” she said.