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Common sense on our roads

Fred Wesley
Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Drink-DRIVING driving is a major worry it seems. When the commissioner of police Brigadier General Sitiveni Qiliho points out that drivers are not heeding advice, we have to be worried.

Police fear that if people do not change their attitude and appreciate the dangers of drink-driving, more lives would be lost on Fiji's roads.

Brig-Gen Qiliho said despite repeated requests for drivers to heed warnings against drink-driving, the force continued to arrest offending drivers.

People were still disregarding warnings.

His concern came after 26 drivers were arrested around the country over a 48-hour period at the weekend.

From Friday to Saturday morning, he said, 16 drivers were arrested for drink-driving; 13 were from the Southern Division with three in the Western Division.

What's troubling to note, he said, was that of the 16 arrested, 11 were provisional licence holders.

Between Saturday and early Sunday morning, he said, 10 drivers were again arrested for drink driving, seven of whom were from the Southern Division and three from the Western Division.

Out of these, he said, two drivers were again provisional licence holders.

Brig-Gen Qiliho said earlier statistics released showed a worrying trend whereby 325 people were arrested for drink-driving between July and October.

In the month of July, he said, there were 76 arrests, 45 for the month of August, 112 in September, and 92 so far in October not taking into account the 26 arrested over the 48-hour period.

As we prepare to enter the festive period, it is in our best interest to be vigilant.

Accidents happen. They happen because we allow them to.

Every year we have awareness campaigns harping on about the importance of road safety and the roles we each must play to ensure our roads are safe for everyone.

Yet each year accidents happen, and there are times when people die on our roads.

Road rules are there for a reason. They serve as guidelines for us all.

They are designed to allow us to use the roads safely.

But we need road users to embrace them.

"We have already surpassed last year's road death toll recording 54 deaths compared with 47 for the same period last year and we do hope to keep this figure from rising even further," the commissioner said.

That will mean strictly adhering to our road rules, valuing road safety, planning our journeys, having common road courtesy and common sense, and planning to arrive on time at our various destinations.

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