Traffic lights no place for vendors

Editorial

WE still have vendors selling on the streets especially in between traffic lights despite instructions from National Capital District Metropolitan Superintendent Benjamin Turi that they must be arrested.
Traffic laws forbid people from conducting illegal activities on the road which police should be enforcing.
Those responsible are turning a blind eye to this instruction.
In addition, road safety and the adherence of traffic laws must become a top priority for the police and other relevant government agencies.
One area that has become a haven for criminals in Port Moresby is around the traffic light at the Waigani-Tokarara junction.
The area is no longer safe for motorists who have to stop at the red light.
So many things happen including jaywalking with some pedestrians running in between cars to cross to the other side, vendors selling their products and opportunists hanging around the area ready to pounce on unsuspecting motorists. Turi last month said it was the duty of the police to take heed of the law. There is a law against selling on the streets but the police are not doing anything about it.
Children or anybody selling on the streets are supposed to be arrested and charged, according to Turi. And it should also be a warning to the parents who are encouraging their children to sell at traffic lights.
It also seems that motorists are defying traffic regulations by driving over the white line which marks the lanes.
In some cases, buses make dangerous U-turns in places where they are not supposed to do that. Some vehicles are parked illegally in unauthorised locations or even on the pavements which is illegal.
Moreover, these culprits are breaking just about every traffic rule in the book.
We have stressed previously that the illegal and dangerous practice of motorists running the red lights at traffic light intersections has become rampant in Port Moresby.
The main culprits used to be the reckless PMV drivers who have now been joined by other senseless motorists who realise there is nothing to stop them from running the red lights and breaking other traffic rules.
There is no police presence at traffic light and there are no police cameras to detect them.
As far as these “cowboys” are concerned, they own the city roads and nobody can stop them and their dangerous habits.
Traffic lights are there to control the flow of traffic and pedestrians to provide safety and access to roads in towns and cities.
Sensible motorists drive at designated speed that give them time to react if the traffic lights change.
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.
That doesn’t happen in Papua New Guinea, especially in the NCD, because we don’t take road safety seriously.
It seems the relevant authorities don’t really care about road safety and the risks posed by reckless drivers.
With the influx of vehicles into the capital city over the past few years, traffic jams have become a way of life for motorists. Long queues at traffic light intersections can test a driver’s patience and understanding.
These are the culprits that must be stopped before they injure or kill themselves and other innocent road users.
It is imperative that spot cameras are installed with police presence at traffic light intersections to detect and apprehend offenders.
It is a matter of life and death that these measures are implemented immediately.
As well, the introduction of alcohol breath-testing for drivers must not be further delayed.
The NCD is full of drunken drivers who also think they are the kings of the road when they are intoxicated.
They too must be halted in their tracks as they are a menace to our society.
The practice of vending in between vehicles at traffic lights must be discouraged.
All these are dangerous practices that must not be condoned by the relevant government authorities.
We make laws to protect us and to ensure public safety. Yet some flout them at their leisure with little or no consideration or though at all given to other members of the public.
It seems everyone is waiting for the road toll to mount further before appropriate action is taken to arrest the trend.
We hope the next Government can do something about it.

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