Our children

TWO separate cases of road accidents this week which have claimed the lives of people, involved children.

Today’s Page 1 and Page 3 reports on the Navua accident involving children returning from the Kaji rugby games; and the recent death of a four-year-old who was hit and killed by a vehicle while crossing the road at 10pm on Friday have hit at the heart.

With our children just into the first week of the second term holidays, the news has made us as a community and society sit up and reflect again on the safety of our children.

Prior to the term break and early in the week, warnings were sounded by police and relevant authorities on the need for vigilance in keeping our children safe, especially with all the festivities, social and sporting events happening around the country.

The media highlighted warnings about proper supervision of our children and keeping a close tab on their whereabouts.

These warnings were not only directed at parents but also any person or people in supervisory — or otherwise — roles which require them to be responsible for the safety and protection of children. And that includes bus drivers and other motorists who transport children to and from destinations.

The injured children from the bus accident have been through a painful and traumatic experience which will probably remain with them for the rest of their lives. Not to mention their parents and relevant supervisors.

The bus tragedy has become a stern reminder yet again, for all drivers and bus operators about their sense of responsibility towards the safety of the passengers in their vehicles.

Their task is to not only drive the passengers where they need to go, but more importantly to ensure that they arrive at their destinations safely, and in one piece. Drivers this is a wake-up call. Enough of the speeding and putting passengers’ and pedestrians’ lives at risk with reckless driving and a don’t-care attitude. When on the road, people’s lives depend on the choices motorists make.

The death of the four-year-old boy in the alleged hit-and-run accident in Labasa stirs many questions in the minds of people today.

Questions like how a child of that age was left to cross the road alone, in the dead of night; why he was not accompanied by an adult; why was he even allowed to walk around at night unsupervised? Which brings us back to the warnings issued earlier on. How seriously are they heeded?

We sympathise and pray for the family of the precious little boy who are also suffering through their painful loss; hold our children closer and treasure their lives, never taking them for granted.

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