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Road peril

Patrick Todd, Lami
Monday, October 30, 2017

DRIVING home to Lami from Walu Bay on Sunday, October 29, 2017, at around 1445hrs I was placed in a very dangerous position by the blatant, irresponsible driving of not one but two trucks with blue "GM" plates.

I believe the drivers of these two vehicles seemed to be under the misapprehension that "flashing hazard lights" gave them permission to drive like suicidal lunatics. Either that or it was their blue number plate.

I watched for over 6km as one truck, that had shot past me at the Reservoir Rd roundabout, constantly tailgated, overtook on a crest, wove from lane to lane, overtook (dangerously) near Novotel. The second truck attempted to overtake (double lane) me when I could see oncoming vehicles too close to succeed safely.

Whatever the reason these drivers had for their irresponsible and reckless behaviour, it would not be enough to condone them putting, not only themselves and their passengers, but also public drivers at a very real risk, as I can attest.

The road was greasy after a light shower. Neither vehicle was driven in such a manner as to respect the road conditions. This was a Sunday afternoon. Many people were coming home from church, walking along the side of the road. Neither vehicle was driven with respect of the pedestrian conditions … neither vehicle was driven with respect to other vehicles on the road … not to mention respect for the rules of the road!

I believe one could easily leap to the conclusion that these two drivers were actually racing each other to their destination. I hope, for the sake of all of us, that is not true.

Again, whatever the drivers' belief is justification for their reckless driving, nothing! would be sufficient to justify the damage/harm/injury/even death of anyone … anyone!

My reported experience is not the only instance of irresponsible driving, this one was pure idiocy. I believe the drivers behaved like hooligans, inconsiderate, irresponsible and just plain stupid. There is no excuse for driving like idiots!

First! To all of you who make their living on Fiji's roads, your number plate designation does not grant special dispensation under the law. The law that we all live by. The same laws that we all drive by.

Your number plate does not grant permission to speed, ignore red traffic lights, park indiscriminately, pull out from the curb without a visual check, stop abruptly to collect passengers, crawl through town for the same and it certainly does not grant you to drive in such as manner as to force innocent, law abiding citizens into harm's way!

Get your attitude sorted out! If anything you should be a model driver and surely!?! you have realised by now that speeding through town does not get you there sooner especially when you consider the stress on your vehicle, your fuel consumption, your brake pads, your tires, the stress on yourself and the angst you cause to others on the road.

Second! I believe the driver classes of LM, GM, LT, bus (in that order of irritation) should all be required to be trained in defensive driving. To have obtained a defensive driving certificate should be a prerequisite to obtaining such a licence.

A defensive driving course will, at least, open a driver's eyes to things he/she would have never thought of.

To all of you who make their living on Fiji's roads please be considerate. I know you are all out there day in and day out coping with the potholes and the plague of Prius' and the other idiots on the road. Try not to be one of them.

To those hoons I was subjected to yesterday afternoon, get off and stay off our roads. There is no excuse for your behaviour.

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