BEING on Fiji time is certainly not true on our roads.
The Land Transport Authority makes more than 20,000 bookings for speeding annually or about 54 a day.
That is about 50 per cent of all bookings that the LTA makes in a year for road offences.
But, of course, there are those who do get away. Some "experienced" drivers know exactly, which spots on our roads where the police officers are and drivers do alert each other by flashing headlights to warn them of the law enforcement officers ahead.
It was once estimated that road accidents cost up to $500million annually taking into account a number of issues such as a victim's loss of productivity, a victim's working years left, taxes he or she would have paid, possible contribution to the economy through food and other services, loss of time and loss of revenue to the family.
LTA chief executive officer Naisa Tuinaceva said it was a continuous and vigorous fight to reduce road fatality numbers, a battle that could be won if we had the right attitude on our roads.
"Whether you drive or walk or stand by the road, we all bear a responsibility towards road safety," Mr Tuinaceva said. "And the glaring truth is that many don't take that responsibility seriously, simple road rules are not followed, roads are misused and lives are lost."
The LTA spends about $1million annually on "enforcement". Its estimated revenue from about 40,000 annual bookings is $1.9million.
Mr Tuinaceva stressed that contrary to what some perceptions are that the LTA is always looking for ways to make money " there are just too much resources and lives lost because people fail to exercise common sense on our roads.
"All road rules must be treated as golden, not to be tested or flouted,? he said. "Great vigilance and carefulness must be exercised at all times, whether it"s a busy or empty road.
"Enforcement agencies like LTA and the police have exhausted all avenues of carrying out awareness, we have reached out to both adults and children, villages, communities, and across religious beliefs, and creed. I believe it's not really the lack of awareness but it's rather sloppy, poor driver and pedestrian attitudes that needs to change," he said.
By June 11, the LTA should have its portable cameras, to assist in the anti-speeding campaign.
"The engineers will test the cameras, they will be at locations and people would not know," Mr Tuinaceva said. "If you speed, no one will stop you. We have drivers who give signals to warn other drivers. No one will be stopped, you will just receive your tickets after three days.
"These are some strategies we have put in place."
Since, January this year, there have been about 600 road accidents, which is about three daily. There have been 16 deaths. In other words, the statistics reveal that in every 100 accidents, at least two to three lives are lost.
Mr Tuinaceva said speeding caused about 80 per cent of all road accidents.
The LTA will now resort to having harsher penalties for the offence as well as suspension of licenses for habitual offenders.
"For those that have five or more bookings, they may have to explain to us why we should not suspend their licences," Mr Tuinaceva said.
The cost of bringing in the four cameras is about $250,000. However, Mr Tuinaceva said the cost of bringing technologies was nothing compared to the loss of lives.
"We are fighting hard, it's still a long way to go," he said. "For every fatality on the road, we take ourselves responsible and it makes us work hard."
Also, part of the strategies to deter speeding, the harsher penalties could also include imprisonment, particularly for habitual offenders.
"Having the right road safety attitude means adopting good judgement and respect for road laws before any action is taken."
Mr Tuinaceva said this would mean that members of the public must understand the road was not a place to play, or converse on mobile phones, or for dating, for pounding yaqona or for carrying out other business apart from driving or walking.
He added drivers should not treat roads as a racecourse for determining whose vehicle was the fastest but instead concentrate on safety defences while driving.
"We need to take responsibility as an individual road user to respect and adhere to simple road rules and that responsibility also extends to encouraging others to do the same. Let?Ts not allow another person to die on our roads!"