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Division marked as 'an area of concern'

Timoci Vula
Monday, January 21, 2013

THE Western Division has been described as "an area of concern" with police statistics revealing a high trend in road fatalities in the division.

The latest road death in the west was recorded in Rakiraki following the death of a 37-year-old woman who was involved in a car accident last Friday.

Police spokeswoman Ana Naisoro said the woman who was the driver of the vehicle died at the Lautoka Hospital on Saturday, while the other passengers remained admitted at the Lautoka Hospital.

The woman's death now brings the national road death toll to six compared to three for the same period last year.

"Unfortunately, all road fatalities for 2013 have been recorded in the Western Division, an area of concern as far as traffic operations are concerned," Ms Naisoro said.

She said out of the six cases, four deaths were a result of speeding and two deaths a result of drunk driving.

She explained that over the past two years, 95 road fatalities were recorded throughout the country for 2011 and 2012.

"Out of the 95 cases, 56 deaths were recorded in the Western Division alone," Ms Naisoro revealed.

She said last year, 41 road fatalities were recorded throughout the country, out of which 27 were again from the west.

This high trend, she added was also recorded in 2011 where out of the 54 fatalities, 29 were from the Western Division.

Ms Naisoro said the worrying trend was also reflected in the high number of traffic infringement notices and bookings issued for the division as seen during Operation Blitz conducted by the Fiji Police's Traffic Department.

During Operation Blitz phase III from December 13 last year to January 15 this year, the west recorded the highest number of bookings for speeding, which continued to be the leading cause of road accidents and deaths.

She said 1368 drivers were booked for speeding while 26 drivers were arrested on the spot for drunk driving, the second leading cause of road accidents and fatalities.

"During Operation Blitz phase II, 1387 drivers were booked for speeding, while 17 drivers were arrested for drunk driving (in the west)," she said, citing the period between November 7 to December 8 last year.

"Road fatalities recorded an overall reduction of 24 per cent with 41 fatalities last year compared to 54 fatalities in 2011," Ms Naisoro said.

"However, we strongly believe that with the right attitude adjustments this number can be reduced greatly," she said.





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