Botswana struggles to tackle 'unacceptable' traffic deaths
SALAJWE, BOTSWANA // Victor Paledi, Botswana's director of Road Traffic, has described the dangers evident on the southern African nation's roads as "unacceptable." The most recent and comprehensive road accident statistics were compiled in 2007 and they revealed that 17 people lost their lives in road accidents for every 10,000 vehicles registered. Of the 497 fatalities in 2007, 31 pedestrians were killed. That figure rose to 107 in 2008. Paledi expressed dismay that a higher duty imposed on alcohol sales coupled with increased police patrols have not reduced incidents of drunk driving. A total of 1,095 arrests for driving under the influence of alcohol were made in 2008, while this year the figure has already reached 1,227. Paledi says that lowering the death toll on Botswana's roads can only be achieved if all motorists take driving seriously and the younger generation are educated further on the importance of road safety.