The Minister of Transport and Public Works Eric Molale has expressed concern over car accidents in the country continuously leading to loss of lives and fatal injuries. He was speaking during the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims held in Letlhakane at the weekend. Molale further emphasized that it was worrisome that road traffic accidents continue to be a major public health problem and cause of death and injuries world-wide.
“Countries are faced with more challenges of losing pre-retirement years of life to road crashes. In Botswana road traffic accidents are amongst the main causes of deaths. The state of affairs regarding road safety is worrisome as statistical evidence shows that we lose an average 400 people annually on our roads,” he said.
The road crash statistics for the period of 1st of January 2022 to 8th of January 2022 as recorded by Botswana Police stand at a total of 244 fatal crashes which claimed 317 lives. Comparatively a total of 252 crashes were recorded in the same period in 2021 where 316 people lost their lives.
Molale said road accidents bring undesired consequences such as loss of lives, displacement of social fabric, loss of human resources, loss of potential leaders and even future leaders. He further emphasized that road accidents result in serious social and economic costs for the country which include health care and rehabilitation of the injured. He said these costs are then borne by the Motor Vehicle Accident (MVA) Fund. MVA Fund pays P200 million annually in compensation claims to victims of road traffic accidents
“Some of these accidents occur in places were naturally motorists would be compelled to lower their speeds as such places are marked pedestrian crossing blocks, school perimeters and sometimes cross roads where motorists fail to obey traffic rules and signals,” he said.
Minister Molale said as government they are compelled to ensure that the following mitigations are in place; adequate funding for road safety projects, review legislation that government road safety, implement and continuously review their road safety strategies, adopt best practices and advocate for safe system approach. He said Botswana like any other member state of the United Nation (UN) will over the next ten years implement the new proclaimed Decade of Action for Road Safety 2021 -2030.