Editorial comment – Making a difference

Laisa Tuisue with her daughter Milika Sorowaqa with a picture of her nephew Josua Bosewaqa at Natabua in Lautoka yesterday. Picture: BALJEET SINGH

Laisa Tuisue kissed her nephew Josua Boseiwaqa goodbye on Tuesday morning before he boarded the bus for school in Lautoka. For many parents around the world, the emotional reaction is filled with love. It’s instinctive for many parents and guardians. She had no idea that it would be the last time she would see him alive.

Ms Tuisue found it difficult to accept the news that the seven-year-old had died in a road accident near their home later that day.

She reeled in shock when police officers brought her the bad news.

Ms Tuisue remembers dropping the little boy off that morning with her daughter.

“We’re still in shock because we keep expecting him to come home,” she said.

Josua’s family, she said, was suffering the most because the St Thomas Primary School Year Two student was their only son. Josua was expected to celebrate his birthday next week.

His parents had left for Beqa last Friday to tend to their farm, with which they supported his education by selling root crops.

As investigations continue, police spokesperson Ana Naisoro said the accident happened at 3.30pm at the Fiji National University junction while the seven-year-old was crossing the road.

Ms Naisoro said he was hit by a vehicle driven by a 54-year-old contractor from Vaivai settlement.

The driver was in police custody.

The incident will no doubt prick emotions.

It should inch out a rethink of safety issues.

Understandably this accident will leave a sad impression on the minds of the little boy’s family and friends. It is important though that we embrace road safety.

Every year we talk about road safety. Yet every year we have accidents. In fact accidents happen because we allow them.

Road safety is critically important for us all.

We will either continue to talk about it, or do something about addressing safety concerns.

That should involve all stakeholders.

It should mean parents and guardians, and teachers making a concerted effort to inculcate in our youngsters an appreciation of road safety.

It should also involve drivers and the Land Transport Authority and police.

That should mean drivers and other road users being proactive and careful.

It should mean defensive driving being placed on a very high platform.

The challenge is on us all to make a difference as parents, guardians, drivers and road users. We must be part of the process.

We should start by adhering to road rules, being vigilant, proactive, alert and careful when on our roads. Road safety matters.

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