Letters To The Editor, December 31, 2018

Credibility Jan NIssar, CA CARLTON NSW 2218 Now that the credibility of the Leader of the Opposition and the Leader of the NFP has been tarnished with their petition in
31 Dec 2018 15:06
Letters To The Editor, December 31, 2018

Jan NIssar, CA CARLTON NSW 2218
Now that the credibility of the Leader of the Opposition and the Leader of the NFP has been tarnished with their petition in the Court of Disputed Returns.
Will they be effective in parliament?
Who will believe anything they say and what tangible contribution can they make?
We hear that two other senior members of the Opposition are there to bide their time for the next four years.
I suggest that the only effective thing they will achieve if they remain for the next four years, is getting paid at taxpayers expense.

Amenatave Yaconisau, Delainavesi

The eulogy delivered by the Minister for Infrastructure Jone Usamate of the late Speaker Dr Jiko Luveni(FS 30/12) befits her meritorious service to this country.
Mr Usamate highlighted some of her most important achievements.
Indeed, she has been a true patriot and servant of this country. RIP Dr Luveni!

Driving behaviour
Arvind Mani, Nadi

Our road fatalities are at 70 now for this year and the Police have been very efficient in furnishing the troubling statistics and a detailed breakdown about the reasons for the various offences.
What blew my mind was that over 111,000 citations were issued for the various violations.
I do not know what percentage of the population drives motor vehicles but it seems that almost 50 per cent are guilty of dangerous driving.
Of course, some people drive very carefully so I am assuming that some offenders have multiple citations.
So while the Police seem to be seen to be diligent, it is not having any impact in reducing traffic violations In fact, it is grossly insufficient.
The top brass plead and exhort the drivers to be more responsible and the dailies write editorials offering sage advice and all the while there is a steady and worrying increase in reckless driving.
The Police and LTA need to realise that whatever they have been doing is not working and almost amounts to lip service.
These are drastic times on the roads and they should call for drastic measures.
When we face extreme and undesirable situations, it is sometimes necessary to take extreme actions.
More punitive measures must be taken against the offenders.
There needs to be more Police presence and they need to be more alert.
There have been quite a few traffic lights recently installed in Martintar and drivers routinely run the red light with reckless abandon.
Just this morning, I saw a black twin cab run the red light. There was a Police car behind him but nothing was done to address the problem.
Why do the traffic lights not have cameras?
That would be a cash cow. So many people are on their mobile phones. I remember once (in California) I was going home after a meeting.
I had started to drive and wanted to tell my wife that I was coming home.
I had hardly been on the phone for a few seconds when I saw the lights were flashing behind me and I was fined $US271.00. Now that is what an alert Police officer does.
In Fiji, if we are fined, most people do not pay the fines till they renew their registration. In the US if you renege on fine payments, additional penalties are added.
I am not sure what the fine is for drunk driving but I do not believe it is high enough to be an effective deterrent.
In California, as a first offender, you spend a night in jail, your car is impounded, you have to pay a hefty fine and you have to attend a full day of “Traffic School” where you are made to watch gory videos of accidents.
So as a first offender, you are out of several thousand dollars. So, you think twice about driving drunk again.
I am not sure how effectively LTA inspects if the vehicles are road worthy.
I was given a fitness certificate and the guy did not even step out of his office.
I am also not sure if some Police are still taking bribes after they stop someone for speeding.
This is why I had suggested in a previous letter that there should be “mystery drivers” who can check the honesty of the cops or verify if the vehicles are being actually checked for fitness.
I see so many cars where one of the headlights is not working and either one or both the taillights are not working.
And I am on the road only about five minutes a day as my office is close to my residence.
And some drivers do not turn on their headlights even though it gets dark.
The Government really needs to pass stricter laws, impose harsher sentences if they really need to improve the behaviour of drivers.
There is a Hindi saying – Laat Ke Gadha Baat Se Nahi Maani (The person won’t be able to change until you punish him).
There is a lot of wisdom in that as far as our irresponsible drivers are concerned. So mere editorials or advice are not enough.
It is time to get serious if there is a genuine desire to reduce road violations.

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