Saturday, May 28, 2022

Ramsden warns reckless drivers

The Minister of Transport and Communications, Frank Ramsden, has said road traffic accidents contribute to enormous suffering and serve as an impediment to economic and social development in many countries.

Ramsden was speaking at the launch of the Decade of Action for Road Safety in Gaborone on Monday.
He said accidents might be attributed to excessive speed, pedestrian errors, careless driving and driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs.

He added that the driver’s licenses of those regarded by the police as reckless drivers would soon be repossessed.

Ramsden warned about the irresponsible behavior of those who give their loved ones vehicles to drive without licenses. He revealed that traffic statistics in Botswana indicate that a total of 4838 people perished on the roads between 2001 and 2010.

“There is need for revision of road traffic provisions in the law to include alcohol and drug related issues,” said Ramsden.

He stated that international organizations challenge countries to recognize road safety as a public health problem, which, in a way, proclaims that there are specific health risk factors linked to road crashes.  

According to Ramsden, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed in 2010 “A decade of action road safety 2011-2020”, with the projected goal of reducing traffic fatalities through increased and well planned and coordinated activities at regional, national and global levels. ┬á┬á

“We need to reduce the forecast levels of traffic fatalities by half around the world in 2020,” said Ramsden.

He stated that whilst his ministry is government’s lead agency in road safety promotion, it is upon road users to ensure that road safety forms a strong element in their driving knowledge. He said the government and families are spending a lot and the long term consequences of the critically injured are unbearable. He urged the entire nation to become active promoters of road safety both at individual and organizational level.

World Health Organization (WHO) country representative, Dr. Eugene Nyarko, revealed that road crashes and accidents take the lives of nearly 1.3 million people every year and injure millions more. He said that this has hurt the economies of countries because of absenteeism from work, hospitalizations and insurance pay-offs.

“Pedestrian and riders of motorized two-wheelers are vulnerable road users and they account for 46 percent of global road traffic deaths,” said Dr. Nyarko.

Nyarko also identified the Global Plan key pillars to achieve these goals as Road Safety management, Safer Roads and Mobility, Safer Vehicles, safer Road users and Post-crash response.

RELATED STORIES

Read this week's paper