By Leah Malimbasa MANA

As Malawi commemorated 2023 African Road Safety Day (ARSD) on Friday, Ministry of Transport and Public Works launched National Road Safety Strategy for 2022 to 2030 that focus on key result areas among them safe vehicle and post-crash response.

Minister of Transport and Public Works, Jacob Hara presided over the ARSD commemoration and launch of the National Road Safety Strategy at Mitole ground in Chikwawa where he said the commemoration was crucial as it provided opportunity for stakeholders in road safety and road users to reflect and stir action on ways and means of reducing road accidents.

“Road accidents have become leading causes of deaths and injuries such that there is need for collective action by both duty bearers and citizens to address the problem,” the minister said.

Launching the National Road Safety Strategy, Hara outlined five key results areas that focus on; road safety management, safer roads and mobility, safe road users, safe vehicles and post-crash response.

The minister therefore called on stakeholders to view the strategy as a guide for practical and impactful actions other than viewing it as a mere document.

“To all stakeholders, I say let the availability of the National Road Safety Strategy be a guide to your activities not just a booklet. To all road users, be it motorists, pedestrians, cyclists and many more, the strategy would be meaningless if we don’t use it,” Hara said.

Refering to the ARSD theme; Open Vehicles are Death Trap, Use Secured Vehicles, the minister said statistics were so alarming on road accidents involving open vehicles and called on citizens to desist from travelling on open vehicles saying the risk is always very high.

In his remarks, Director of Road Traffic and Safety Services, Andrew Sandula said ARSD commemoration was ideal and relevant, adding that the commemoration provided opportunities for citizens to learn more on magnitude of road accidents.

“Road safety is a shared responsibility involving various players beyond government institution such that there is need for concerted effort to achieve the 2030 strategic goal of 50 per cent reduction,” Sandula added.

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