State motorcades hit Windhoek

State motorcades hit Windhoek

Plan your route carefully to avoid delays

With the official programme for the memorial services and the state funeral for Namibia's third president and national hero, Hage Geingob, around the corner, road users in Windhoek need to be prepared for official motorcades, road closures and detours, as many foreign dignitaries and local officials will undoubtedly need to get around in a hurry over the next few days.

The Windhoek municipality has issued an advisory for the public to keep in mind in order to help plan routes and avoid frustration where possible on the streets of Windhoek over the coming days.

A state motorcade refers to a group of motor vehicles travelling together for the purposes of conveying Namibian and foreign state dignitaries from place to place, escorted by traffic officers or military police tasked with ensuring safe and unimpeded journeys.

In terms of Regulation 337, the driver of a vehicle on a public road must, when being approached or passed by a state motorcade, stop their vehicle on the extreme left of the road where the road is demarcated into one traffic lane for his or her direction of travel.

Where the road is demarcated for two traffic lanes, a vehicle must be stopped in a safe position at the extreme left of the road when in the left lane, or adjacent to any vehicle that may be to his or her left when driving in the right lane.

Where the road is demarcated into more than two lanes, stop in a safe position. Where the vehicle is stopped in any lane at a controlled intersection, remain stationary and only proceed when instructed to do so by means of hand signals from a traffic officer.

“The general rule is to pull over to the extreme left of the road and remain stationary until the motorcade is well away from your position,” the municipality stated.

Safety regulations

The regulation states that a person driving a vehicle may not overtake or attempt to overtake any vehicle in a state motorcade. Doing so would be an offence, and upon conviction, a fine not exceeding N$4 000 or imprisonment for a period not exceeding one year, or both such a fine and such an imprisonment sentence may be applicable, the Windhoek municipality warned.

When a driver hears state motorcade sirens, it is important not to panic, to stay alert and to avoid being distracted.

"Keep the noise level in your vehicle down to a minimum and continue to pay attention and listen. Be prepared for more than one vehicle passing in the motorcade. You should not slam on your brakes or stop abruptly blocking the road or junction. Look ahead for a safe area where you can pull over and park out of the way. Be sure to use your vehicle indicators or hand signals to let other road users and members of the state motorcade know your intent to pull over," the municipality advised.

The municipality added: "Wait for the state motorcade to pass and watch for more than one vehicle until you are certain that the entire motorcade has passed and is well away before departing from your stationary position. Check to make sure that the way is clear and signal before merging back into traffic."

Moreover, never follow or try to outrun a state motorcade.

At traffic lights, all approaching vehicles from all directions must give way to the state motorcade until it passes through the lights.

Namibian Police spokesperson, deputy commissioner Kauna Shikwambi, said: “Laws are laws.”

She called on the public to respect and give way to traffic escorts during this time.

“Motorists must be patient and use alternative routes or delay, or be early if possible, to avoid delays, traffic congestions and frustrations,” she said.


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