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Telecommunications transform lives

Telecommunication services have become central to everyday life, Motor Vehicle Accident (MVA) Fund, chief executive officer has said.

Giving a keynote address at the World Telecommunications and Information Society Day in Shorobe recently, Mr Cross Kgosidiile said it was on such a backdrop that they have since extended services to road safety.

Mr Kgosidiile also noted that telecommunication services have also transformed the approach to running businesses in the country. 

“People no longer need the physical proximity as they look to maximise profits hence Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has become vital,” he said.

He noted that the commemoration theme acknowledged the existence of road traffic accidents, hence the need for the transport sector to harness the power of ICTs to counter the challenge. “Road traffic crashes are a big problem to the national development agenda and therefore we are inclined to use ICTs to improve road safety,” he said.

Mr Kgosidiile said it was inevitable that they pursued and achieved the decade of road safety by the year 2020, adding that ICT was an important tool that can be deployed to educate people on road safety and improve road infrastructure.

He said in the past three years, the MVA Fund lost P100 million per annum to road accident victims. “In 2011, we recorded 18 001 road crashes resulting in 6 436 casualties, out of which 1 239 sustained serious injuries and 483 were killed,” he said.

He further said in 2012, 17 527 road crashes were recorded resulting in 1 285 serious injuries and 404 people killed. “From January up to May 12 this year, we recorded 100 fatal crashes, 493 serious injuries and 117 fatalities,” he said.

Mr Kgosidiile said the numbers were alarming, and implored Batswana to make road safety a priority. He said everyone who got seriously injured or killed had a network of dependents, adding that  some were sole breadwinners.

Technologies such as GPS, cellular phones and videos, he said, have also contributed to road crashes.

“People have even gone a step further by creating social network sites that warn other motorists of where speed traps and booze buses are situated,” he said. Such behaviour, he argued, defeated efforts to make roads safer.

“Our challenge is to harness the power of ICTs to improve road safety and not to deter it,” he said. He said before the end of June, the MVA Fund would hand over high technology surveillance equipment and motor vehicles to Botswana Police Service.

“These vehicles will be equipped with radar technology that can detect driving speed levels for both rear and oncoming traffic,” he said. ENDS

Source : BOPA

Author : Omphile Ntakhwana

Location : SHOROBE

Event : World Telecommunications Day

Date : May 20 Mon,2013

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