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Road crashes in Namibia: Challenges and opportunities for sustainable development

Steven Jones, Kenneth Odero and Emmanuel Kofi Adanu

Development Southern Africa, 2020, vol. 37, issue 2, 295-311

Abstract: Within a broad framework for comprehensive advancement, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) directly address the importance of safe transport to human development. We analysed some 29 000 crashes recorded in Namibia between 2012 and 2015 to identify connections between road safety and sustainable development there and, by extension, throughout Sub-Saharan Africa and other developing countries. The results indicate that the heavy reliance on transport services for basic mobility, especially in rural areas, contributes to negative development outcomes in terms of significant burden of injuries and death, many of which affect younger people of prime working age. The results also suggest that development pressures such as increased commercial traffic and more private vehicles increase the burden of roadway crashes. Many of the underlying factors contributing to these crashes are attributable to driving behaviours and safety cultures that must be addressed as part of programmatic socioeconomic development in order to mitigate the negative effects of transportation and more fully realise its potential to support sustainable development. We document additional ways in which the provision of safe transport is interrelated to successful attainment of the broader SDGs including those not explicitly addressing safe transport such as 4, 5, 8, 9, 16, and 17.

Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1080/0376835X.2019.1659131

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