OVER 90 per cent of road accidents in the country are speed related. Over speeding vehicles are indicative of a vessel destined for a point of no return, leaving its passengers at risk. This was one of the key messages in the HMS No Come Back Speed Campaign report last month issued by the Land Transport Authority.
Based on the use of the bamboo raft, the campaign emphasised the use of the bilibili during the colonial era. "One significant point about the bilibili is that it can take only one trip downstream from the highlands and can never return upstream," the report said.
Naitasiri, the only province on the mainland that crosses the other provinces, is a major supplier of agricultural products for the greater Suva and Nausori area, the report said. Carriers leave before the break of dawn to transport farmers to urban centres where the produce is sold. Statistics revealed that about 95 per cent of carrier tRips from these villages do not comply with loading of passengers and cargo and passenger behaviour, the report said.
Other issues of concern were driver's code of conduct, speed management and responsible behaviour. LTA's road safety team visited the respective villages and spoke with farmers about these concerns in a bid to build healthy relationships, generate safety consciousness and reduce fatalities and serious injuries on Naitasiri roads.
The report said taking a journey by bilibili required a lot of planning, taking into account the construction of the raft, suitability to the purpose, travel duration, departure and arrival times as well as weather and river condition. "Normal speed is the safest speed. Normal speed is the one that blends in well to the road environment, the congestions and associated risks on the road.
"Speed is determined by the road and not the driver. The road and not the driver determine the speed of the proverbial bilibili," the report said. Drivers will always want to travel faster than the normal speed, but the road will suggest the most suitable speed based on the ground or engineering issues, the report pointed out.