West tops road deaths

The Minivan which was involved in an accident at Nabou, Sigatoka. Picture: BALJEET SINGH/FILE

THE Western Division recorded the highest number of road fatalities this year.

According to the Fiji Police Force, 40 people died in road accidents this year in the West compared with 34 for the same period last year.

Outgoing divisional police commander West Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Verani Nakauyaca said most of the road accidents involved alcohol or young people.

“We are seeing people being ignorant of the laws when they choose to drink and drive,” he said.

“A good example was the accident in Wairabetia in Lautoka where four people were in that accident and alcohol was involved.

“We had two people that died and one still in critical condition.

“Of course we also had the Nabou accident earlier this year when nine people perished.”

He said there was a need for elder family members to teach their children about road rules.

“Everything starts at home. Obviously, police cannot work alone to stop this growing problem.

“So we need our elders, our parents and guardians to educate our youths. They need to be aware of the importance of our road rules and that they are there for a reason. “If we don’t follow these rules, people’s lives can be lost as we have seen with the number of fatalities on our roads.”

He said speeding was also an issue that traffic officers dealt with during police operations.

“We notice that when drivers see a police officer they tend to avoid us by speeding away.

“What they don’t realise is that we are there to protect them. We make sure that people are listening and following our laws.”

According to the latest national road figures from the Fiji Police Force, speeding and drunk-driving were the highest causes of fatalities on national roads in 2018.

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