Traffic cowboys put lives at risk

Editorial

RECKLESS motorists are still running the red lights in Port Moresby.
This illegal and dangerous practice has become so rampant in the capital city that no one seems to care anymore.
The main culprits used to be the PMV drivers who still continue to break just about every rule in the traffic book. They have now been joined by other senseless motorists who have come to realise that there is nothing to stop them from running the red lights and breaking other traffic rules.
There is no police presence at traffic light locations and there are no cameras either.
As far as these cowboys are concerned, they own the city roads and nobody can stop them and their dangerous habits.
Traffic lights are meant to control the flow of traffic and pedestrians to improve safety, and sensible motorists drive at speeds that allow them to react in time when traffic lights change colours.
In other countries such as Australia, road safety is of paramount importance and the infringement of traffic laws, including traffic light regulations, draws heavy penalties.
For example, in Australia if you break red or yellow traffic light rules, you may receive an infringement notice from the police. If you disobey a red traffic light rule, you may be sent a camera-detected offence notice.
You can have your diver’s licence suspended on the first offence and a second offence may result in you losing your licence.
This doesn’t happen in Papua New Guinea, especially in the NCD, because we don’t seem to take road safety seriously.
It seems that the authorities don’t really care about road safety and the risks that are posed by reckless drivers.
Most of the traffic lights in the nation’s capital are located in Waigani Drive, which is the busiest road in the city.
With the influx of vehicles into the National Capital District over the past few years, traffic jams have become a way of life for motorists with long queues at traffic light intersections that can test a driver’s patience and understanding.
It is imperative that spot cameras are installed with police presence at traffic light intersections to detect and apprehend offenders.
As well, the introduction of alcohol breath-testing for drivers must not be further delayed.
The nation’s capital is full of drunken drivers who also think they are the kings of the road when intoxicated. They too must be halted in their tracks as they are a menace to society.
There is another group of reckless drivers who apparently cannot be reined in because of the lack of laws that govern the use of mobile phones while driving.
Despite much research that shows that mobile phones distract motorists, Papua New Guinea  has yet to come up with specific laws that stop motorists from using their handsets while driving.
Whoever is responsible for enforcing the traffic rules is obviously sleeping on the job and must wake up to the fact that motorists are continuing to make the city roads unsafe and prone to nasty, even fatal accidents.
Road safety and the adherence of traffic laws must become a top priority for the police and other relevant government agencies.

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