The Fiji Police Force?s Traffic Department is optimistic of reducing the number of road fatalities in 2015.
2014 recorded 49 fatalities an increase of 8 compared to 2013. In collaboration with relevant law enforcement agencies a lot of effort was put into awareness campaigns; however lives continue to be lost due to the carelessness of some road users.
Further analysis shows the majority of fatalities were recorded in the Western Division recording 29 of the 49 fatalities, a similar trend recorded in 2013 where of the 41 fatalities 26 were also recorded in the West.
Another significant difference in the analysis noted was the decrease in the number of pedestrians who were victims of fatal road accidents. In 2013, 24 of the 41 victims were pedestrians whereby in 2014 only 11 of the 49 fatalities were pedestrians.
While it is unfortunate that some innocent pedestrians have become victims due to the negligence of some drivers, it is encouraging to note pedestrian behavior regarding road safety has changed significantly.
Speeding continues to be the leading cause of accidents and fatalities. Looking at past record it has remained the number one cause of deaths on our roads over a 10 year period. This is worrying as it indicates that law enforcements plea to drive within the speed limit continues to fall on deaf ears.
This is why we continue to request members of the public to adopt a change of mindset to ensure we save lives. Hundreds of families have either lost a loved one as a victim and have been prematurely robbed of the chance to enjoy life with the one they care about.
The Fiji Police Force sincerely hopes 2015 will be a year of change in as far as road safety is concerned. We do hope that all road users will change the way they think about road safety and know the decisions they make on our roads will ultimately determine their safety and that of others.
Please keep in mind that every time you choose to drive recklessly or get behind the wheel of a car drunk, that you are potentially putting your own lives and of other innocent parties on the line. We request that you always keep your loved ones at the forefront of everything you do and know it could be the last time you see them if you continue to ignore basic road safety practices.
The Traffic Department and all its officers will continue to work to keep you safe on our roads. However as we cannot be everywhere to police the issue, your cooperation is vital if we are to be successful in our campaign in reducing Fiji?s fatality rate.
We wish everyone a Happy New Year and let?s all work together and ensure you and your loved ones do not have to endure the heartbreaking ordeal of being a statistic on our roads.
FIJI POLICE FORCE