Editorial comment – The need to be proactive

Anita Devi mourns the death of her mother in law who passed away in the car accident at Waimalika Nadi on Sunday night. Devi was also the passenger in the car and sustained injuries. Picture: REINAL CHAND

IT was difficult for family members to comprehend the fact that Krishna Kumari would have celebrated her 69th birthday yesterday. They gathered at her residence, but instead of celebrating what should have been a happy occasion, they were there to remember her life. She died in a road accident at Waimalika in Nadi on Sunday night. Her late husband’s sister, Bhan Mati, was the second fatality. Family members said Ms Kumari had left for Suva on Sunday morning accompanied by other members of her family. She had travelled to Suva to see a relative who was in intensive care and after that the group departed Suva about 5.30pm. One of the survivors, Anita Devi was still coming to terms with the accident. She was transported to the Nadi Hospital after the accident and discharged after receiving treatment for a shoulder dislocation and other injuries. She said the accident happened after 10pm or 11pm. “I was sitting in front. My husband and son, who is in Year 3, were injured and they were hospitalised,” she said. Police spokesperson Ana Naisoro said the vehicle veered on to the opposite lane, colliding head on with a bus heading towards Nadi. Two people died. As police investigations continue, the road death toll now stands at 22 compared with 19 for the same period last year. Accidents happen because we allow them to. Every year campaigns are promoted, safety tips issued, and awareness created about the importance of road safety. Yet every year, accidents happen. It does cast a rather interesting notion that perhaps we are too complacent. We shrug aside the fact that accidents do happen because we seem to think they won’t. It is when accidents happen that we start jumping up and down, trying to promote ourselves as advocates of road safety. We should be proactive. We must do the right thing every time we are on the road. We should start by following road rules, allowing common sense to prevail, and plan our journeys well. On the weather front, let us be careful on our roads, keep a tab on the weatherman and heed warnings. We should be making road safety our priority. We should be considerate and embrace the need to allow every road user to be safe.

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