The Fiji Police Force through its Traffic Unit is working tirelessly to educate both the pedestrians and motorists of the need for safe usage of our roads.
The Force has been working very closely with other stakeholders like the Land Transport Authority and the National Road Safety Council to ensure everyone is safe when using the road.
Last year—2012, a record was achieved when for the first time in over 10 years, road deaths in Fiji recorded 41 fatalities.
The hard work by the Traffic Unit and other stakeholders which was acknowledged by the Commissioner of Police was the main attributing factor to this.
In October last year, they conducted Operation Blitz in the Western Division where most of the accidents have been occurring and this also contributed to the achievement.
Since we are now into the second month of 2013 and into the new school year below are some tips to assist motorists when driving since our roads are always busy during this time.
Safe Motoring Tips
* Ensure rear doors are locked if children are in the rear seats (activate child locks)
* Check your tyre pressures regularly (don't forget the spare)
* Do not touch your phone while driving (use bluetooth if phone/car is equipped)
* Ensure all compartment doors (e.g. glove box, sunglass holder, etc) are latched properly
* Never leave loose items, including phones, satellite navigation units, club locks and luggage, unsecured in the cabin—these could become projectiles in the event of an accident or sudden acceleration or braking
* Utilise your air conditioning to quickly demist your windscreen. Having your air set to 'fresh' and not 'recirculation' may help prevent your window from fogging up
* Ensure child seats are correctly fitted. Obtain assistance if unsure
* Adjust headrest to the appropriate height level
* Seat belts should be fastened tight around the lap and over the shoulder
* Ensure seat belt sash sits comfortably over your shoulder and not up around your neck
* Ensure rear and side mirrors are correctly adjusted for each journey
* Do not put your feet or legs on the dashboard whilst travelling in the passenger seat
* Do not extend any body parts out of the vehicle during the journey
* Keep two seconds safety distance to the car in front
* If sun glare or oncoming headlights are affecting your visibility look at the left hand side road markings to gauge your position on the road
* Always drive with two hands on the steering wheel
* Always assume that you have not been seen by other road users
* If you cannot see the driver's face through their mirrors, they cannot see you
* Be courteous and share the road with other road users
* Adjust your speed to suit the range of your headlights i.e. do not drive too fast with your lights dipped—make sure you have adequate forward vision for the speed you are driving
* Use dipped headlights when foggy
* Do not drive with your front or rear fog lamps on when it is not foggy/limited visibility
* When changing lanes, always do a head check (turn and look) to ensure there is no vehicle in the lane beside you (i.e. check your blind spot)
* If you have a breakdown, leave your vehicle in a safe position away from moving traffic.
Always expect the unexpected.