Editorial comment: Harsh reality of road accidents

Harnesh Ram holds a picture of Parmesh Ram at Navua yesterday while Ravinesh Ram (left) looks on. Parmesh Ram died in an accident along Tokotoko Rd in Navua. Picture: JONA KONATACI

Sometimes we need a human face to give us a reality check when it comes to road accidents.
Yesterday morning was just like most other days for Venkat Rama.
As usual he said goodbye to his nephew Parmesh Ram as he left for work.
It was to be their final goodbye.
But Mr Rama had no inkling it would be the last time he would talk to his nephew.
Mr Ram was killed in an accident along Tokotoko Rd in Navua.
Yesterday, his uncle remembered him as a humble man who made people laugh.
Mr Ram’s older brother Harnesh Ram said his brother would be missed by his family.
Family members were still trying to come to terms with the news of his death.
He was a loving and caring person, the elder Mr Ram said. He never gets angry, he said.
He was full of life and was always happy.
Police spokesperson Ana Naisoro said the victim’s vehicle veered off the road and hit an electric post.
Ms Naisoro said the victim was pulled out of the ve-
hicle with the assistance of National Fire Authority personnel and was rushed to the Navua Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival.
She said a post mortem examination would be conducted soon. The road death toll stands at 35 compared with 36 for the same period last year.
Every year the powers that be will organise campaigns targeted at road safety.
Yet every year we have accidents that jolt us back to reality.
There comes a time when we should be asking ourselves whether the campaigns are working at all.
How much more work do we have to do to get people to embrace road safety?
The onus really is on us as individuals to be a part of the change that must happen if we are to reduce unnecessary deaths on our roads.
The Land Transport Authority (LTA) is pleading with members of the public to use the road responsibly and safely.
LTA board chairman Vijay Maharaj said young adults were becoming victims of road accidents at a time when they were beginning to earn for themselves and their families or were seeking education opportunities and beginning to plan out their lives.
Mr Maharaj said we all are responsible for our safety on the road, but children must always be supervised and taught to practise road safety at all times.
Drivers have been urged to act responsibly. Parents, guardians and teachers have also been urged to play a vital role in reminding children and youths about practising road safety rules. Surely we all want to see our young ones return home safely every day.
We feel for the victims’ families and urge people to be vigilant. Drive within speed limits, don’t drink and drive, rest well before making a long journey, rest along the way if you feel tired, and plan to arrive alive at your destination.

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