Taking a Stand for Road Safety
A group of Namibians have decided to take a stand, collectively, against road fatalities through an awareness campaign that is cracking down on drunken driving in the capital.
“We knew we were doing something big, but I don’t think any of us realised just how ready Namibia was for this change. We are all ready to help make a change to have a positive impact on our roads.”
Henriette Crouse, the Brand and Marketing Manager for Hollard Namibia, is one of the drivers a campaign that is a collaboration between Hollard, the MVA Fund, NAMPOL, City Police, PSRSF (Private Sector Road Safety Forum), Primedia, MTC, M&Z Motors and more. Through passionate individuals and corporations, an initiative has begun that will see 2500 drunken driving tests being administered in the capital per day, for the next six months.
Since it’s inception at the beginning of August, the campaign already has resident of Windhoek taking note. “The response has been overwhelming.” Explains Henriette, who adds, “We knew we were doing something big, but I don’t think any of us realised just how ready Namibia was for this change. We are all ready to help make a change to have a positive impact on our roads.” Henriette notes that her personal passion for this project comes from the fact that she is a mother and does not want to live in fear for her child’s life because of high road fatalities in Namibia. Henriette is not alone. Many Namibians have become infuriated about the high number of road mortalities per capita in the country.
“We are going to focus on what we can do to make this right. Namibians, the time has come to take a STAND”
At the launch of the STAND campaign, it was stated “We are going to focus on what we can do to make this right. Namibians, the time has come to take a STAND, because for this initiative to be successful, we need every single Namibian to stand together”
Chief Inspector Amalia Gawanas who spoke on behalf of the Office of the Inspector General of Police, at the launch of STAND said that “the days of drunken driving are at an end.” Over the next six months, the STAND Campaign “will aim to screen 2500 people at 25 random screening checkpoints daily for drunken driving, with zero tolerance if caught. With a dedicated team of officers STAND will set out with the intent of screening 450,000 people over a 6 month period.”
Henriette explains that in order to begin, the team had to start with low numbers of breathalyzers, “The police still need a lot of supplies to be able to do this, the breathalyzers are in shortage, but we couldn’t wait any longer.” However, Namibians are getting behind the project, We had transport companies donate extra money so we can buy more breathalyzers, Namibian artists contacting us to write a song for a campaign, and similar campaign owners asking if there is a way they can tie in with this campaign.”
While, the project has been an example of collaboration, more is still needed as Henriette notes, “we also need companies to help us spread the message on their social media and communication channels.” For now, expect to see members of the STAND campaign on Windhoek roads, ensuring that if you’re using the road, you are able to do so.
“Let’s hope this helps.” Says Henriette, who adds, “The Traffic Violation Number is also amazing, because now you can report bad drivers and have them pulled over at the next stop. We will only be able to make a difference if everyone helps.”
Get involved in the campaign by contacting Sidney Boois, Senior Manager – Accident and Injury Prevention, at MVA on (061) 289 7099.