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Fiji Time: 9:33 AM on Thursday 24 April

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Yaqona pounding caution

Serafina Silaitoga
Tuesday, December 03, 2013

WHILE it may be difficult to penalise those who damage road surfaces by pounding yaqona on them, the Fiji Roads Authority is pleading with people to refrain from such activities for safety reasons.

Authority CEO Neil Cook said there were penalties available for people who pound yaqona on roads.

"The enforcement, however, may be difficult from our perspective," Mr Cook said.

"We surely don't want any road damage caused by people who pound grog on the roads.

"We are also concerned about the safety of those who use the road to pound grog and that is more important as they put their lives at risk."

The Land Transport Authority has labelled such activities a hazard.

LTA spokesman Iliesa Sokia said activities to raise funds on the roads had been labelled a road hazard because it directly distracted motorists' visibility, holding up traffic flow and slowing vehicle movement.

"A very common site that is very visible almost on all roads in Fiji, especially in major urban areas, is the use of roads as playgrounds and used also for pounding yaqona," he said.

"The pounding of yaqona on roadsides is both a safety and a cost concern to the authority and to authorities such as the Fiji Roads Authority.

"The LTA warns the public they are putting their lives at risk when using roadside or footpaths to pound grog and play.

"Road surfaces also get damaged after continuous pounding, leaving potholes on the roadside. It costs hundreds of dollars to patch up and repair a small pothole."