The Botswana Police Services Deputy- Commissioner, Kenneth Kapinga, lashed-out at the “irresponsible behavior” of drivers of German-made cars saying their conduct does not match the quality of vehicles they are driving.
Speaking at the signing ceremony of the Motor Vehicle Accident Fund and Shell, the British Dutch oil company, on Monday, Kapinga said police are faced with bad driving that lead to fatalities on the roads.
The two companies were signing an agreement, dubbed ‘Drive to Live’, which is aimed at reducing accident rates in the country.
The move is part of strategic interventions which MVA’s Chief Executive Officer, Cross Kgosidiile, called for at the announcement of the last financial results in a bid to reduce the claims rates.
The claim provisions jumped from P 6.3 million to P 48 million in 2005 while the fuel levy remained flat at P 69 million, but fears are that with the current regime of no fault basis the provisions are likely to go up.
“The police are doing everything possible to reduce fatalities on the roads, but we do have a big problem of bad driving,” Kapinga said. “Young people who are driving expensive BMWs and VWs display loutish and thuggerish behavior on the roads. And their behavior does not match the quality of vehicles they are driving. And what is surprising is that these people are educated and are from universities.”
He said as part of this years campaign, the police will be working around the clock on five key areas of over-speeding, drinking and driving, failure to use seat belts, fatigue and using cell-phones while driving.
His warning comes at a time when fatality rates are steadily increasing in the country. From January this year to the first week of December, there were 388 reported fatalities, compared to 450 for the entire 2005.
“Police can not deal with this situation until our drivers show some civility,” Kapinga said. “We need effective enforcement of the law which will lead to motorists reforming their behavior.”
Speaking at the same occasion, Kgosidiile said that there is a need for a shift in his organisation’s focus so as to steer towards the prevention of road accidents and reduce compensation to victims.
The Drive to Live campaign is part of a raft of measures which are being put in place to reduce road accidents across the country. The Government is mooting a plan, which will see all vehicles on public roads having compulsory insurance to ensure that all vehicles are road worthy. Further, to encourage good driving, it is working on a point system that will ensure repeated faulters loose their driving licenses.