Editorial comment – Safety matters

The vehicle that was involved in the fatal accident. Picture: SUPPLIED

When news that a man had died in a road accident went out recently, tributes flowed in.

The Tau villager from Nadroga was set to celebrate his 30th birthday.

However, a few hours before that, he died when the vehicle he was driving crashed near Korovuto, Nadi, on Sunday night.

Family members and friends took to social media to grieve for him.

Police believe he lost control of the vehicle, causing it to veer off the road.

The accident happened after 9pm on Sunday and two other men from the same village who were travelling in the vehicle were medically treated and sent home.

Police said the victim was rushed to the Nadi Hospital but was pronounced dead on arrival.

The road death toll now stands at 11 compared with nine for the same period last year.

As investigations continue, we are reminded about how fragile life is.

We are reminded about the importance of road safety, and why it is important for us to adhere to advice from experts.

In the wake of that accident, the Land Transport Authority of Fiji is pleading with motorists to be extra cautious when driving out of town this weekend.

In a statement, LTA said drivers needed to obey traffic laws and drive within the speed limit.

“Never use your phone while driving,” it stated.

“Make sure everyone is buckled up and that children are properly fastened in their car seats.

“Get plenty of rest before your journey and stop frequently along the way.”

Every year we talk about road safety, yet every year accidents happen because we allow them to.

Road safety campaigns are organised annually.

We talk about road safety tips, and what should be done when we are out on our roads.

We talk about the safety of pedestrians, drivers and passengers, and we discuss the importance of staying alert.

We discuss road rules and why speed limits are there. We discuss so many things because we care.

Yet these discussions sort of fade away, and only pop up again when there is an accident.

There are emotional attachments. There are issues of productivity that must be raised when accidents happen.

The challenge we have is making sure people learn to appreciate advice and listen. It is important that we actually do the right thing.

So when you are out and about today, please adhere to the road rules.

Use common sense and appreciate life.

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