The Motor Vehicle Accident (MVA) Fund spends P40 million annually on medical costs toward road accident victims, said the organisation at yesterday’s launch of the National Road Safety Symposium (NRSS).
MVA chief injury prevention officer, Mompati Bontsibokae said it is very important that each company preaches to and educates its employees on behavioural change at their work places.
“MVA spends lots of money on victims on medical expenses every year. The reason why we have partnered with police to educate people about road safety is because of the money that we are spending. Again it is not good to lose our families to road accidents. We also spend P122 million on benefits, which means taking care of families which are now disadvantaged because their child or their parents died in a car accident,” Bontsibokae said.
He also thanked Debswana and G4 Consulting Engineers for partnering with them to fight for zero-traffic accidents or injuries.
He said he believes that fatal cases and the number of road accidents would drop if each company could see the need to join hands with the police.
Another speaker, police director of traffic, Committee Tlalenyane said from January this year to date 313 people perished in car accidents compared to 254 in the same period last year.
“In Botswana 400 people are killed annually on our roads. It should be known that accidents are preventable and avoidable. The problem that exists in our country is that some people do not want to obey road signs,” Tlalenyane said.
Head of safety and sustainable development for Debswana, Tefo Molosiwa said NRSS started in late 2014 as an initiative of the Orapa Workshop project.
He said it was conceived after numerous talks identified road safety as a critical risk to the project and after seeing the report from the Anglo Brazil initiative that reduced fatalities by 70 percent in one year.
He said the primary focus areas of strategy are to achieve safer road users, safer vehicles, safer roads and better incident and trauma management.
“This will be achieved through integrated education, communication strategies, engineering interventions, enforcement strategies, improved emergency response systems, improvement of information and knowledge-based support and transformation, and strengthening of the management of road safety,” Molosiwa said.