Sunvoice

Editorial: Teach our children, students to cross the road

A family in Labasa is mourning the death of a six-year-old Apenisa Rawaqa Junior. Apenisa was a Year One student of Khalsa Primary School who was killed in a road
19 Sep 2018 13:59
Editorial: Teach our children, students to  cross the road
Road crossing

A family in Labasa is mourning the death of a six-year-old Apenisa Rawaqa Junior. Apenisa was a Year One student of Khalsa Primary School who was killed in a road accident along the Wasavulu Road on Monday.

Efforts to save the life of the six-year-old failed as he was pronounced dead at Labasa Hospital on arrival.

The vehicle was on its way towards Labasa Town when it hit the six-year-old student who allegedly ran across the road.

It is said he was with students.

The question would be: who was at fault? The driver or the six-year-old boy?

But the two bigger questions are: Are the school traffic patrols effective? And as parents and guardians: Are we reinforcing the simplest road rules at home with our children? To drivers: Are we following the road rules?

At the end of the day, it is a collective effort. And a collective effort we must enforce whether we’re at home, in school or behind the wheel.

Today, Apenisa’s namesake and grandfather is still lost as he has missed someone who was always loving, honest and humble.

This is a very sad incident especially when a very young life has been taken away.

It should be a wake-up call to teachers to remind students of the road safety rules every day.

To drivers – driving slowly is one of the most important things they can do to protect themselves and others. That means staying well within the speed limit, slowing down around homes, schools and shops etc.

Slowing down gives you much more time to react to people and hazards around you, and avoid hitting someone or something.

Slowing down helps make our roads and communities safer and can mean the difference between life and death in an emergency.

Remember the greater the speed of the car, the less time and distance a driver has to brake and avoid causing an accident.

In short, slowing down is vital to safety, especially in protecting our most vulnerable road users like children, and enabling people to walk and cycle without fearing for their lives.

And it’s not a big ask. All drivers should be able to keep an eye on their speed, and protecting people should always be the priority over getting there a few minutes faster. The road toll continues to rise with three deaths in three days.

The second victim Archana Chand died after a minivan hit her and her sister, Arti. It killed Archana instantly while Arti was still on life support at the CWM Hospital when this edition went to press.

The third death was Ajodhya Prasad, 74, who lost his life at Varavu in Ba on Saturday when he was on his way to visit his daughter.

MAIKA BOLATIKI

Feedback:  maikab@fijisun.com.fj

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