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This is the first of a series of this media road safety campaign, a feature that seeks to raise road safety awareness by informing and educating the general public on the best practices to stay safe on the roads: this includes both pedestrians, cyclists and motorists among others.
The feature starts just as the Botswana Police launched the 60 days of action on crime and road safety recently. This will ensure the work of the police of this 60 days will feed this feature with the necessary content that will help our readers act in accordance with the police messages of road safety.
The feature starts 7 weeks before the festive season, the longest holidays whose travel trends are unmatched, and road safety becomes a number 1 priority. The feature will on weekly basis address the diverse issues that are a thorn to road safety: with statistics and informative messages to ensure all are safe on the roads.
The feature will weekly engage with the police to get all the information relevant to road safety, law enforcement of the roads, as well as statistics and trends that need to change for safer roads. It will also raise flags to all the hotspots on our road, in Maun, the district and at national level.
Due to the persistent high stats of road carnage and fatalities – an all hands on the deck approach is needed to counter this tide. This feature, which is a partnership between a private media entity, an eco-tourism operator and the police will further enhance ongoing efforts by authorities on road safety.
To give an overview on the road statistics of the previous festive seasons, Assistant Superintendent Nelson Kelebetse said in 2020, the district recorded 96 accidents between the months of November and December while in 2021 the figure went up to 112 and dropping by only 2 to 110 in the past year. Over the same period in 2020, there 2 fatalities recorded, 3 in 2021 and also in 2022.
On the road traffic offences, overspending topped the list with 404 cases in 2020, 467 in 2021 and 273 in 2021. Other offences that topped the charts in the police statistics over the three years, were those of driving without a driver’s licences at 289 in 2020, 187 in 2021 and 250 in 2022.
Failure to wear seatbelts is also prevalent on the roads during the festive season as 562 cases were recorded in 2020, which dropped in 2021 to 109, only to go up again in 2022 to 147. While drunken driving cases were at 36 in 2020, the number shot up the following year to 113, only to drop to 9 in 2022.
These statistics provide the necessary yardstick for those to correctly channel their efforts to the problem areas, to effectively deal with issues of road safety.
In the next edition, this feature will deal with the issue of vehicle road worthiness and road safety with emphasis on what constitutes and road worthy vehicle, and the dangers of having unroadworthy vehicles on the road. It will also seek to establish their contribution to accidents over the years, and associated fines/charges if found on the road. It will also seek to identify that which the public can do to police the roads and report such vehicles.