. . . Govt to introduce data driven system to curb accidents
Mafeteng – The Minister of Public Works and Transport, Matjato Moteane, visited Mafeteng district as part of the ongoing road safety Christmas campaign last Thursday. The campaign, which was launched on November 27, 2023 will run until January 5, 2024. Road Safety Director, Kinini Matthews, said that they always conduct such campaigns every year to make Basotho aware of road safety. The following organisations were represented at the event: Lesotho Mounted Police Service, Lesotho Defense Force, Lesotho Correctional Services, National Security Services, the Road Fund, Lephema Executive Transport and Hippo Transport.
“From the beginning of this till now we have a record of 122 accidents. People should be careful when they drive because a car is not your friend, people should stop drinking and driving and over speeding,” Maththews said. Senior superintendent Leabuoa Shale, from the Mafeteng Police department said part of their responsibility as police is to ensure the safety of Basotho as well as Basotho’s goods and properties. “During this festive season where people go out and celebrate Christmas and New Year all the departments involved take part in ensuring that every Mosotho is safe, whether a pedestrian, people in private vehicles or those using public transport. One of the reasons accidents occur during this time of the year is because people drink and drive. Pedestrians also drink and contribute to accidents,” Shale said.
“When people are celebrating in different parts of Lesotho they should bear in mind that they should not exceed the speed limit because that causes a lot of problems. People should not drink and drive or drink and walk on the streets, because those are the two most common reasons why accidents occur in Lesotho,” Shale added. Shale reported that between December 1 and December 21, 2023 there were 17 accidents and three fatalities in Mafeteng alone, of which the biggest cause of these accidents is drinking and driving and driving at high speed.
Member of Parliament from Mafeteng No58, Moeketsi Mots’oane, said road safety does not only involve drinking and driving, but also involves the bad roads in Mafeteng.
“There are potholes at Ha Rabolilane. When I pass there every day there is always a car or two broken down and parked on the side of the road which shows that the roads are not safe. Therefore we cannot only talk about alcohol abuse yet we still have bad roads,” Mots’oane said.
Minister Moteane said the situation of Lesotho’s roads was bad because the network has not been repaired for the past 12 years. She added the country has not invested enough in the road infrastructure for the safety of Basotho. “The government is going to introduce a new system for which the police are already undergoing training called Road Accident Data Management System. When a car accident happens the police will collect data of the accident and send it to Road Safety and to the Head of Police. This system was supposed to start this month but it will happen next year. The system will help show the black spots in the road network,” Moteane added.