Namibia Breweries Limited (NBL) says it is concerned about the increase in road accidents due to reckless driving, speeding, improper overtaking and poor vehicle maintenance,
despite more elaborate, inclusive and widely advertised road safety campaigns being launched each year.
This was highlighted by Managing Director, Wessie van der Westhuizen, during a media briefing at the company’s headquarters on Thursday, where the beer maker reaffirmed its commitment to road safety.
NBL, through its ‘Stay cool, enjoy responsibly’ campaign, has been handing over cool drinks to officials manning various road blocks around the country since the start of the festive season.
The donation is valued at N$207,000.
The campaign was formed to encourage NBL patrons to enjoy its products in moderation. The message from NBL is clear: Do not consume any alcoholic beverage while driving.
Drinking and driving is one of the leading causes of death on Namibian roads. Van der Westhuizen stressed that some of their valued clients consume their brands incorrectly and irresponsibly.
“Responsibility is the problem. We make our brands to bring value to people and not to take value away. The vast majority of our consumers imbibe properly and use our products to have a festive holiday or fun-filled event.
“People who consume alcohol improperly or too excessively must learn to understand what responsible drinking is. It is these people, some of whom are our consumers, that don’t understand the proper and right use of our brands and this is very sad,” he said.
The NBL MD said that it is a tragedy that each year, road safety stakeholders come together to try and find ways to help decrease road accidents, and still the statistics of road accidents and fatalities cutting across all age groups, continue to rise.
“It is sad to see that people gather every year to launch road safety campaigns, but the problem does not get solved. Irresponsible driving is the problem. It only takes a few drivers that don’t care to negatively affect the lives of so many others. Negligent drivers need to take responsibility for the damage, destruction and pain they cause on the roads when they cause accidents,” he said.
Sidney Boois from the Motor Vehicle Accident (MVA) Fund said they are determined to continue to find ways to decrease road accidents.
“We should never lose hope. We must not give up on road safety campaigns. MVA will continue to be part of such campaigns. We have hope that one day we will win and things will get better,” Boois said.
According to MVA statistics, 3660 crashes, 6420 injuries and 695 fatalities were recorded in the period between 1 January 2017 and 3 December 2017, compared to 3830 crashes, 6553 injuries and 655 fatalities over the same period last year.