Photo caption: Mr Semisi Tawake, General Manager Finance and Administration at Land Transport Authority, and Mr. Kunaseelan Sabaratnam, Director of Retail and Marketing at Morris Hedstrom.
Fiji’s biggest family supermarket Morris Hedstrom has become a road safety advocate partner with the Land Transport Authority [LTA] following the signing of a sponsorship contract yesterday at HM headquarters.
Morris Hedstrom Director of Retail and Marketing Mr Kunaseelan Sabaratnam said they are extremely delighted to partner with the LTA in trying to be agents that advocate road safety.
“There is a similarity in LTA’s vision statement and ours at MH, one has a serving and the other has saving connotation. MH carries the slogan “Serving Fiji since 1868” while LTA operates under the motto “Steering Fiji Safely” and they are quite similar so based on that we wanted to explore further by building a relationship with LTA to save lives on Fiji roads,” said Mr. Sabaratnam.
“We are proud to be involved in this worthy course; we feel it’s our corporate obligation to put our hands up and help LTA to keep our roads safe. We are concerned with the number of deaths on our Fiji roads and this sponsorship has given us the opportunity to partner with LTA.’’
Morris Hedstrom will televise three 30-second road safety video clips throughout MH’s 23 supermarkets in Fiji via its in store LED screens. The company will also include the videos on 12 price checkers. Morris Hedstrom will also help LTA to distribute its road safety flyers and brochures to customers who visit their stores to pay their essential bills such as electricity and water. The contract will continue until 31st of December 2014.
Land Transport Authority General Manager Finance and Administration Mr Semisi Tawake who signed the contract on behalf of the LTA said LTA cannot fight road safety on its own and will need the support of the corporate community in Fiji to supplement the advocacy work currently carried out by LTA.
“We are fortunate to learn today that we are not alone in trying to save lives on our Fiji road,” said Mr. Tawake.
“We are extremely happy to know that a household name like MH is on board with us, we are on the same wave length trying to bring about some control on the continuous road accidents that are occurring on our Fiji roads.
“Many more lives will surely be impacted with this sponsorship and we are thankful to MH in helping us in our road safety campaign.”
LTA is facilitating government’s Decade of Road Safety for Action 2011-2020 initiative launched in 2011 which is aimed at reducing the number of deaths on our roads. It is estimated that around 50 lives are lost yearly on our roads as a result of associated accidents and incidents.
Today’s national road death toll stands at 37 compared to 26 on the same period last year. It’s an alarming figure and LTA is once again calling on members of the public, motorists, pedestrians and all road users to exercise extra caution when using the road.
Fiji’s lowest death toll ever recorded was achieved in 2012 and 2013 with only 41 victims per year. However with just a few months left for 2014 to end and with the current toll of 37, the 41 mark is currently under threat.