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Slow down this Festive!

Road-Safety-Festive Botswana

Motorists urged to take it easy on the roads

“There is nothing painful like being crippled when you were born fine!” Road accident victim

With festive upon us, parties, festivals, family gatherings and trips to church (for the religious amongst us!) are the order of the day.

However, in recent times the season has become synonymous with a more sinister theme: death on the country’s roads.

Describing the holidays as ‘a critical period’, Divisional Traffic Officer, Maipelo Mmalane warned this is the time when Botswana experiences more road accidents than at any other point of the year.

Speaking at the World Day Commemoration in Francistown recently, Mmalane urged people to ‘act for low speed’, this year’s theme for road traffic victims.

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“We are in the dangerous times when accidents rise. I advice drivers and pedestrians to obey road signs and drive with caution to avoid death and injuries. It is better to be late than never, so to be on the safe side, let us depart on time to avoid over speeding on roads,” he said.

According to Mmalane, there have been 32 casualties who lost their lives in car crashes in the Francistown region so far this year. The death toll reached 43 in 2020 and 60 the year before.

Labelling the numbers ‘extremely worrisome’, he implored citizens to take the necessary precautions, including sticking to the speed limit and never get behind the wheel when drunk.

In total, there have been 1, 354 recorded car accidents in and around Ghetto this year, in which 29 people suffered serious injury.

One of these is Isau Modisa, who sustained a broken arm and leg when he was hit by a car in Donga back in August. His life has not been the same since.

“Since that time I cannot do anything to fend for my children and mother. My life quickly changed for the worst; I cannot even pay my rent as I cannot work like this. I am a father of four children and another one is still drinking milk but I am failing to buy it. I am pleased with the help I am getting from the MVA,” stated the Mmadinare native.

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Encouraging pedestrians to exhibit caution by the side of the road, Modisa advised, “Do not assume that the car sees you, it is better to protect yourself. There is nothing painful like being crippled when you were born fine!”

Another who narrowly walked away with her life after being hit by a car in 2019 is Ndawana Pricella Moris.

“I was drunk with my friend and as we were crossing at the railway line I was hit by the car. I woke up after two days at the hospital. When I tried to sit up my body was in agonising pain as my backbone was broken. Luckily I healed and I am happy that I managed to live and I am taking care of my children,” she said.

Avoid becoming a statistic this season – take care on the road!

ROAD SAFETY TIPS
• Do not drink and drive
• Stick to the speed limit
• Avoid cell phones when driving
• Avoid driving late at night
• Use safety belt
• Do not drive under the influence of drugs

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