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Roads Investment To Create Access and Opportunity For All

Motorbike awareness campaign launch in West an important step towards emphasising this, Government focus on safety   As the FijiFirst Government’s commitment to upgrade roads around the country continues, Government
07 Dec 2015 10:53
Roads Investment To Create Access and Opportunity For All
Minister for Industry, Trade and Tourism Faiyaz Koya (centre) with fellow motorists at the LTA ride for safety campaign in Lautoka yesterday. Photo: LUKR NACEI

Motorbike awareness campaign launch in West an important step towards emphasising this, Government focus on safety

 

As the FijiFirst Government’s commitment to upgrade roads around the country continues, Government feels even one death in a road accident is just too many.

Minister for Industry, Trade and Tourism, Faiyaz Siddiq Koya, made these comments during the Ride for Safety Campaign Western launch yesterday at the Land Transport Authority office in Lautoka.

Mr Koya said the roads are being improved to provide Fijians with access to markets and enhance the economic capacity.

Referring to the increased number of deaths on our roads this year, Mr Koya said Government was committed to reduce the carnage on our roads.

He said the awareness campaign launch was an important step towards acknowledging that there is a problem and that Government is doing something about the problem.

The awareness campaign is moreso focussed on the safety of the motorcyclists on our roads who are also a big part of our road infrastructure.

Mr Koya stressed: “It is vital to strengthen the safety of the riders and basically correct the statement that roads belong only to four wheels vehicle.

“The public needs to know that it is safe to ride a motorcycle on the road. They must feel confident to share the road with other land transportation mode and most importantly their rights and safety must not be compromised.

“The aim of today’s event is to create an understanding on the rule of law that governs all road users in Fiji.

“The road users are inclusive of pedestrians, motorists or divers, passengers as well as motor bikes and cyclists.”

 

Campaign and statistics

The launch of the campaign in the West followed the successful launch in the Central Division earlier in November.

An ardent motorcyclist himself, Mr Koya said he appreciated the emphasis that has been placed on the safety of riders.

“I say this with conviction because of the ever increasing road fatalities in Fiji today, the current death tool stand at 60 as compared to 45 for the same period in 2014. This is an alarming number,” he said.

“Lives are being lost, families suffer. This needs to be stopped. We need to do something about this epidemic.

“As a driver you are responsible for the vehicle you drive, the passengers in the vehicle and the drivers and pedestrians around you.

“The blatant disregard for basic road rules that has led to the loss of lives or at a lesser extent hefty fines and penalties.

“This problem can only be addressed through a collective approach, which is inclusive of the key stakeholders, the road use or the driver.”

 

Safety of motorcyclists

Mr Koya said there might be some people who might ask why the Land Transport Authority is dedicating its resources to motor cycle safety.

This, he said, was especially given that motorcycles make a small number of vehicles on the road.

“It is absolutely critical that a sense of awareness or motor cycle riders be created and firmly implanted in the minds of drivers, both old and new even before they get on the roadway,” he said.

“It is important for each road user to note that the responsibility is not only on bike rider but also that of the car, van or bus driver.

“Therefore all road users have the responsibility of ensuring that they and other users of the road are safe.

“What must you remember that a victim of a road accident is not another statistics, but is an important person to someone. He or she in many cases is the sole breadwinner.”

Feedback:  luke.nacei@fijisun.com.fj

 

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