506 BENEFIT FROM LTA?S OUTREACH, COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT

Mrs Anaisi Vulolo from Nadi is presented with a certificate by LTA CEO Naisa Tuinaceva. More photos on www.facebook.com/thejetnewspaper.

Government?s commitment to the Fiji Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011 to 2020, which was launched by the Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama in 2011, has seen 506 ordinary Fijians being trained, tested and presented with driving licences.

The three weeks community outreach training and awareness program conducted by the Land Transport Authority (LTA) that began in May was held at Navoci village Hall in Nadi.

In an official event organised at Namotomoto village in Nadi recently, the Minister for Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation Dr Jiko Luveni presented certificates to the new driving licence holders in Nadi who had undergone the training provided by LTA. The licenses presented ranged from the following categories (5 level 1 Defensive Driving Certificates, 40 Public Service Vehicle (PSV) Defensive Driving Certificates, 64 Group 4 Drivers Licence, 169 Class 2 Provincial Driver?s Licence? and 228 Learners Permits).

While presenting the licences, Dr Luveni said that this initiative has been possible through the Bainimarama government?s vision to stretch out the services to the doorstep of the communities through awareness and outreach programs.

?Outreach or Community Engagement operates within the vision of Bainimarama Government?s ongoing program to improve the level of services to the ordinary Fijians in the remote and rural communities. This means that they do not have to come to LTA offices to get their learners permit and to get the defensive driving or driver?s test. It eases the financial burden associated with paying fares to travel all the way from rural areas to LTA offices and all the required trainings and testing is conducted near to their locations and in a much friendly environment,? Dr Luveni said.

?The Land Transport Authority through outreach programs have reached out to thousands of people in the rural and maritime islands. Outreach doesn?t mean compromising the standard of service, but is purposely meant to make life easier to our ordinary Fijians.?

Dr Luveni reminded the drivers to champion the, ?Safety on Our Roads? at the highest level.

?To all those drivers who have been certificated today-our request is that you look after your driver?s licence, it is the source of income for you and your family. Respect and follow the road rules, look after your safety and the safety of your vehicle and most importantly the safety of other road users. The LTA will gladly renew the licences when they are satisfied that you are capable of maintaining the safety standards that they stand for.?

While receiving his PSV Defensive Driving Licence, Desh Reddy, a retired worker of FSC (Fiji Sugar Corporation) from Malolo Nadi thanked the Bainimarama government for opening this opportunity to ordinary Fijians. ?I am very happy that I have finally got my PSV Defensive Driving licence which will assist me start my taxi business. Currently, I have a carrier business in Nadi and I am planning to start the taxi business soon, which will become a reality now that I have finally got the required licence,? Mr Reddy said.

?I thank the LTA for providing this awareness and training programs at a venue closer to our homes, the sessions were very informative and interactive. We no longer have to worry about paying daily fares to travel all the way to LTA office. The training actually guides the drivers on road safety measures and road signs, the test we go through is very practical.?

Similarly, the 30 year old market vendor from Namotomoto village in Nadi, Mrs Vinaisi Liku Vueti was filled with joy when she went up the stage to receive her certificate in,??Restricted Master/Engineer Class 6 Maritime Awareness Training???that was held from 10th?to 13th?June at Navoci Village Hall. This training has put together by the Ministry of Transport and Public Utilities in partnership with Maritime Safety Authority of Fiji (MSAF).

?Getting this certificate means that I can get a part time job at the hotels and even start my own fishing business. The training has been an eye opener to me especially it teaches us on the importance of marine safety measures. We have to go for a practical testing and only when we pass the test then we qualify to receive these certificates. I would like to thank the government for providing such training opportunities for women to learn maritime safety rules and in the process it also creates new employment opportunities for us,? Mrs Vueti said.

MINFO