By Francois Lottering
WINDHOEK, APRIL 20 – The Windhoek City Police this week carried out a mini road safety campaign on the Western Bypass to assist and sensitize pedestrians of the dangers when crossing busy roads such as highways.
The biggest danger according to Cillie Kapolo from the City Police, is when pedestrians cross before sunrise, or after dark as most people do not wear any reflective gear or dark clothes making it difficult for motorists to spot them.
The weekly program known as Road Watch and sponsored by Airtime City and aired on Kosmos radio aims to sensitize motorists and pedestrians about road safety.
During the hour program the Windhoek City Police focused on various topics to safeguard all road users and to make sure that Windhoek remains a safe place for all.
When Namibia Daily News visited the operations on Wednesday morning it was evident that the City Police have more on their hands than crime prevention and traffic control as their officers educated hundreds of pedestrians on road safety.
One such gesture was to avail officers next to the busy bypass to explain to pedestrians in their mother tongue about safe crossing, the consequences of crossing at the wrong place and in the worst case scenario serious injuries or even death.
Kapolo said the main problem area is adjacent to the northern Industrial Area as many people live across the road and their only means getting to work is either walking or on bicycle.
But the problem is two-fold Kapolo added, as motorists often do not adhere to be speed limit of 80 kilometers per hour on that potentially hazardous section, and then the pedestrians that are not supposed to be on the highway, often misjudge themselves with the speed of an oncoming vehicle, and ended up either being injured or killed.
This reporter witnessed this scenario first hand as hundreds of workers already crossed the roads in the darkness despite hundreds of vehicles speeding towards them when we arrived at the scene.
Another problem evident on the road was the hundreds of ignorant drivers that do not decrease speed as pedestrian cross the road.
Statistics availed to NDN by the City Police show that since January this year 52 crashes resulting in eight serious injuries, 14 slight injuries with no fatalities were recorded. Of this accidents recorded, 5 pedestrians were involved.