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Editorial: Curb road deaths, penalise social media idiots

Editorial: Curb road deaths, penalise social media idiots
The fatal crash scene at Nabou, midway between Nadi and Sigatoka, along the Queens Road on August 4, 2018. Six people including a 16-year-old student of Ratu Navula College, died on impact, Police confirmed. Photo: Waisea Nasokia
August 07
11:44 2018

The carnage and loss of six lives at Nabou is one of the worst in Fiji’s road fatality statistics.

The frightening scene on that mid-morning will forever lay embedded in the minds of everyone who was there.

It was something that becomes etched in your mind and is almost difficult to erase.

While we continue to decry the senseless driving of some of Fiji’s drivers, we continue, as one person put it, “sing the same song but the second verse”.

To be there and see the amount of injuries and blood spattered around the vehicles and road sent a chilling reminder to all how vulnerable we are in situations like this.

But, what makes your blood boil are those senseless, disrespectful, no brainers who snapped away at the dead and injured, as they lay on the road and hanging out of the vehicles.

Others decided that a video recording of the scene would enhance their profile and so these spineless people took the next step and shared these photos and videos.

What has our society come to?

Where is the Fiji we knew it to be, where respect was paramount, especially when someone died?

How can we rope in and jail these idiots who probably do not have respect for their own families?

What is that same song but in the second verse, this time with a twist – these very people’s own family members were dead or injured and their photos reached their parents first?

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama expressed disbelief and horror of how photos of the crash victoms were widely circulated on social media.

“Let’s have some respect for those who have lost their lives, and the families in mourning,” he said.

“I urge all Fijians not to share on social media the pictures of the horrific road accident that claimed six lives at Nabou.”

He felt for the parents and relatives who had to see the photos of their dead loved ones circulated on social media.

“It is sickening. It’s a sad state of affairs and so depressing,” the PM said of the social media posts.

The question now is, with all these pleas falling on deaf ears, what is the next step?

What can we do to simply take away the pleasures these idiots enjoy when they share such photos and videos?

What can we do to bring that respect, that all Fijians are known and revered for, back into the families?

Do we take that drastic step like some countries do and ban social media?

Or can we impose a temporary shutdown of all social media sites when such accidents occur for a few days?

Perhaps the Land Transport Authority should suspend driving licences after two bookings for over speeding for three months?

The issue here is how can we stop these things happening?

These are a lot of questions, which we need to address now because we do not know what it would be like in a few years.

Senseless deaths like the Nabou accidents are bound to happen.

The point is how can we curb these type of road fatalities and stop idiots from enjoying their personal pleasure of sharing pictures of dead people and those writhing in pain from their injuries. 

Charles Chambers



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