Editorial comment – Pulling all stops on road safety

Police at the accident scene at Waidra, Baulevu outside Nausori. Picture: LITIA CAVA

AS police worked on gathering information about an accident outside Nausori yesterday, at least one family was keeping its hopes alive that their relative would return home.

A vehicle is in the Rewa River as police try to determine the number of people who were in it.

Tasleem Ali, 18, who recently got his driver’s licence, is believed to have been in the family vehicle that veered off the road at Waidra in Baulevu early yesterday morning.

Yesterday, police spokeswoman Ana Naisoro said there was still no confirmation whether there were other passengers in the vehicle.

Yesterday’s search had to be called off because of unfavourable weather.

The disappearance of the vehicle remains a mystery for Taslim’s mother Rehana Ali.

As our report on Page 7 today reveals, Ms Ali lost her husband eight months ago and yesterday disaster struck again when she discovered that her son was missing from their home in Kasavu.

Ms Ali confirmed her son got his driver’s licence a few months ago.

Like many youngsters his age, Taslim also harboured dreams.

He yearned to be a soccer player.

He had recently purchased new soccer boots and balls and was passionate about soccer.

Victims of road accidents would have had emotional attachments.

There would be family members who valued them, and loved them.

That is the harsh reality of road accidents!

In an ideal world, they shouldn’t be happening anyway!

In an ideal world, laws that govern road usage would keep us safe.

They serve as guidelines for all road users.

They are designed to keep vehicles apart, specifically detail the speed we should be travelling on, clearly mark out options available for us from the right to pull over, coming to a stop, to overtaking on the highway.

They are there to keep us safe.

Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case.

We do not live in an ideal world.

Accidents happen because we allow them to.

As investigations continue, we are left to consider the turn of events and whether we are doing enough to put a stop to it.

Every year we have campaigns that target road safety issues.

Yet every year, we still stare at a brick wall as accidents continue to happen around the country.

We can either choose to ignore the campaigns or do the sensible thing and adhere strictly to the laws of our land governing road usage.

It isn’t going to be an easy task putting a stop to road accidents, but it can be done.

We must raise our level of awareness in terms of road safety.

Common sense factors quite heavily in this process.

We should work together to stop the carnage on our roads.

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