Fiji Time: 3:15 PM on Friday 18 August

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Within the law

Fred Wesley
Friday, August 18, 2017

The revelation that police booked 30,557 people over the past eight months for various traffic offences will raise some concern.

It gets worse when the figures on speeding are revealed.

Speeding topped the list of offences, with the police actually booking 18,600 drivers for the offence.

The Fiji Police Force yesterday released the latest statistics which showed that 677 were booked for careless driving.

It revealed that 217 people were caught carrying excessive passengers, 1187 were booked for not wearing seat belts and 370 drivers who were driving without a licence.

As our report on Page 2 today points out, 477 people were fined for illegal operations and 417 for drink driving, 35 for improper use of mobile phones while 8945 were booked for other traffic offences.

The Fiji Police Force's director traffic Senior Superintendent of Police Mahesh Mishra said the force and the Land Transport Authority shared the same concern over drivers' attitudes.

The attitude and approach of motorists to basic road rules is also another major concern, he said.

Some drivers, he said, were trying to beat the system.

The fact that 1187 were booked for not wearing seatbelts and 370 drivers who were driving without a licence, is worrying.

It questions whether awareness campaigns on these issues are actually working.

Could this be the tip of the iceberg?

The figure for people without seatbelts and those driving drunk are staggering.

The fact that so many drivers were driving without a licence raises many questions.

It also paints a rather bleak picture about adherence to and respect for the law.

It seems some drivers aren't worried at all. They are not scared of the legal implications of their actions.

The scenario is worrying for other road users because it could raise the question of how competent these drivers are, whether they understand defensive driving at all, the laws and road courtesy.

Drivers who abide by the laws that govern our road usage would be worried about them.

It effectively places pressure on the system to pick out such people and get them off our roads.

If this is just the tip of the iceberg, then there is cause for concern.

So it is encouraging that our law enforcers are on the job.

But they will need our support to keep our roads safe.

They will need our support to pull up drivers who harbour no fear and concern for the welfare of others on our roads.

Let us be proactive though, plan our journeys well, and plan to arrive alive at our destinations.

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