Road crashes, deaths drop amid COVID-19 restrictions in Namibia

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irefighters work near the wrecks of two vehicles involved in a collision near Otavi, northern Namibia, on March 17, 2019. (Xinhua/NAMPA)
FILE PHOTO: Firefighters work near the wrecks of two vehicles involved in a collision near Otavi, northern Namibia, on March 17, 2019. (Xinhua/NAMPA)

COVID-19 restrictions in Namibia have resulted in a decrease in the number of road accidents in the country, compared to those of the previous year, data from the Motor Vehicle Accident Fund (MVA) shows.

The MVA data shows that in the first half of this year, crashes, injuries, and deaths, have reduced by 14, 15 and 14 percent respectively.

MVA Fund Chief Executive Rosalia Martins-Hausiku said a decline was also observed from March 2020, with a major slump evident in April due to a nationwide lockdown that restricted traveling to curb COVID-19.

“The number of crashes reported during March 2020 is 59 percent less than the monthly average for 2020, whereas April fatalities were 60 percent below the monthly average for 2020,” she said.

Despite the positive trend, Martins-Hausiku expressed concern over the recent collisions, pedestrian-related and roll-over crashes, which accounted for 50 percent of pedestrian deaths on Namibian roads, especially during the July 19-26 period.

“While COVID-19 cases are on the rise nationwide, people are moving and thus making vulnerable road users more susceptible to pedestrian-related crashes, injuries or death,” she said.

Martins-Hausiku urged the public to refrain from unnecessary movement on the road, especially those related to social activities during weekends.

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