Staying safe this holiday

29 November 2017 | Local News

Members of the public are urged to be vigilant during the festive season to avoid falling victim to crime.

The Motor Accident Fund (MVA Fund) pleads with road users to reduce the death toll on the roads by driving responsibly, while the police urge them to secure their property and avoid business dealings with strangers. The regional police commander for Oshana, Commissioner Rauha Amwele, urges members of the public to be wary of fraudsters.

Amwele says many people will be visiting towns in the regions and many criminals will seize this opportunity.

“I am urging visitors and members of the public to avoid engaging in discussions with people they do not know, it is very dangerous. They must also avoid leaving their belongings with people they do not know.

“When they park their vehicles they must make sure that they do not leave valuable items visible and they must also make sure their vehicles are locked,” Amwele warns.

She says the regional police will be conducting operations to keep people safe. There will be random roadblocks in the region, as well as shebeen patrols. She appeals to the public to cooperate with the police in the interest of safety and security.

Last week, MVA Fund spokesperson Kapena Tjombonde said that during the previous festive season between 22 November 2016 and 17 January 2017, Namibian roads claimed the lives of 124 persons, while a total of 1 087 people sustained varying degrees of injury in 603 crashes.

Compared to the same period in the previous year (2015/16), crashes decreased by 8% and injuries by 16%, but fatalities increased by 6%.

Most of these accidents were roll-overs (36%), followed by collisions (26%) and pedestrian accidents (19%).

“This harrowing analysis reminds us all of the gruesome reality on our roads. Let us plan in advance for road trips, remain vigilant, wear seatbelts at all times, watch out for pedestrians, adjust to road conditions such as heavy rains which cause slippery roads and keep a safe following distance,” Tjombonde said.

“Take a personal stand against road crashes, and save your life as well as those of others. The MVA Fund once again reminds the public to report crashes to the MVA Fund Accident Response Number 081 9682, as doing so can save a life.”

ILENI NANDJATO

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