The youth has been listed as the most vulnerable age group when it comes to road accidents.
Motor Vehicle Accident Fund (MVA) Chief Executive Officer, Cross Kgosidiile, said that statics indicate that during 2006-2010 out of a total 2,253 fatalities, 805 of the people were young people between 15-29 years of age.
Kgosidiile said this on Friday during the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the MVA and the Botswana National Youth Council (BNYC).
Kgosidiile said that the number represents 36 percent of the total fatalities for the period, adding that the same age group is the same constituency that they share with BNYC.
The MoU between the MVA Fund and BNYC serves as an instrument that will strengthen the relationship between the two organisations and further define areas of mutual benefit and interest. It will also be used to develop a framework of cooperation for the two organisations for the development of beneficial programmes to curb road crashes, particularly among the youth.
Commenting on their relationship with BNYC, Kgosidiile said that it is their desire as MVA Fund to utilise the structures of the BNYC in order for them to reach out to the youth on issues regarding road safety awareness. He said that along with HIV/AIDS and alcoholism, road crashes are amongst the challenges facing modern day youth.
“Therefore, the involvement of BNYC as a champion of youth interests is very critical if the road safety role players are to achieve any meaningful results on road safety,” Kgosidiile said, adding that the highlights of the memorandum include the need to curb road crashes, road safety and exchanges of information.
Talking about MVA Fund’s efforts, Kgosidiile said that over the past few years the fund has been hard at work to broaden the scope of stakeholders such as the Department of Road Safety and Transport, Botswana Police, Ministry of Health and the Department of Roads to ensure that there is a meaningful participation of various players in the road safety discourse.
He added that their next efforts will be to try and attain a multi sectoral approach that will see the MVA Fund partnering with the Men’s sector.
In terms of gender, men are the largest group of contributors and victims of road crashes. Statistics from the past year indicate that 71 percent of those killed in road crashes were male.
Kgosidiile said that focused initiatives, such as establishing areas of cooperation, will certainly go a long way in ensuring that the country’s objective to achieve the Decade of Action for Road Safety (2011-2020), whose primary objective is to reduce road crashes by 50 percent by the year 2020, is achieved.