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EDITORIAL: Driving Schools Have A Moral Obligation To Follow Rules

Not long ago the Fiji Sun uncovered an alleged racket involving some driving schools and some officers in the Land Transport Authority (LTA). It led to an inquiry and appropriate
26 Feb 2018 10:40
EDITORIAL: Driving Schools Have A Moral Obligation To Follow Rules

Not long ago the Fiji Sun uncovered an alleged racket involving some driving schools and some officers in the Land Transport Authority (LTA).

It led to an inquiry and appropriate action was taken.

It is a positive development to see the Fiji Driving Schools Association’s president Deo Narayan encour­aging their members not to involve themselves in dirty tactics.

There has been an increase in public awareness since the Fiji Sun did that exposé.

When a driving school tries to circumvent the law for financial gain, it has serious implications for the trans­port industry and all the stakeholders.

First the safety of drivers, passengers and pedestrians is being compromised. Drivers who get their licences without going through all the required training and tests pose a grave danger to the public.

In Fiji today, traffic is no longer what it used to be. There are more vehicles now than ever before.

While work continues to upgrade roads, the traffic jams tell us that this is a reality that we have to live with. As our economy expands and people have more money in their pockets to buy cars, there will be more pressure on our road transport system.

A key element in this development is the standard of driving because it reflects the kind of training that driv­ers go through.

Monitoring the process of obtaining a licence has be­come a lot tougher for a reason. It ensures that when a driver gets a licence, he or she has attained the level of competence that the system wants.

We do not want to see drivers getting a licence through devious means because it means unsafe drivers on our roads. It spells trouble.

Driving schools should be aware that there are checks to ensure that all requirements are complied with.

Mr Narayan has issued a clear warning to his mem­bers: “Do not be involved in corruption. We must make our students come out of a driving school as an inspira­tion to other drivers.”

Yesterday’s association’s annual general meeting re­ceived a boost with the presence of Minister for Local Government, Housing, Environment, Infrastructure and Transport Parveen Bala.

Mr Bala says the commitment of the association has provided a platform for sharing knowledge, ideas and experiences in planning and developing the driving standards in the country.

He revealed that vehicle registration has increased with a growth of nine per cent from 2015 to 2016. The to­tal number of vehicles as of December 2016 was 110,763 with 72 per cent private vehicles, 16 per cent commercial vehicles and 10 per cent public service vehicles.

He agreed that the need for safe driving on our roads cannot be overstated.

The enforcement of the law is not only the role of the Police and LTA. They cannot do it alone. They need our support. The first line of defence against illegal activi­ties on our roads are the driving schools. If they do their work well they will help the Police and the LTA.

According to official records there are now 105 driving schools, 49 in the Central Division, 44 in the West and 14 in the North.

They all have a moral obligation to make sure that they maintain a high standard in their training of drivers. It’s in their interest and the future viability of their business.

 

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