Emotional responses

Naitasiri bus accident victim Emosi Radio at his village in Nameka, Tailevu. Picture: RAMA

IF there is one thing the story of Marika Raleba should inch out, it should be emotional responses. Hopefully it will also inch out an appreciation of road safety.

Raleba dropped out of Year 12 last year to share the responsibility of raising his siblings with his mother after his dad suffered life-changing injuries in a bus accident.

As our report today points out, his dad, Emosi Radio, was among villagers travelling to Navua to attend a wedding when their bus tumbled along Serea Rd in Naitasiri in June, 2019.

Being the eldest, the 17-year-old dropped out of school to support his mother raise his siblings.

He had to do this so that his siblings could continue with their education.

“I knew my father was not getting enough money for us so I told him that I would leave school,” he said.

“Unlike before, my father cannot do anything now, his hand is badly injured and I feel sorry for him.

“When I left school in June last year, I decided to continue farming and make use of my dad’s land.”

Mr Raleba said he would never regret his decision to leave school and would continue with his vocational studies if given the chance.

“I love carpentry work and I will go back to school and complete my studies and help out my family because I know that injury in my father’s hand is for a lifetime.”

His story isn’t new for some families affected by road accidents.

This is the harsh reality of life after accidents for many families. This is what happens when a loved one is injured or a bread winner is incapable of continuing work.

Road accidents happen because we allow them to.

As we near the start of another school term, we must remind ourselves about the need for us to adhere to road rules. There are road safety tips that are designed to ensure our safety on our roads. They work though when we abide by them.

It is a fact that every year campaigns are initiated to drive the road safety message. Yet every year, we have accidents.

The key ingredient in this mix is us as individuals. We make or break road safety and we cause accidents.

Perhaps this should be an apt reminder for us all about the importance of road safety, and why we should be vigilant. Road safety tips can save lives.

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