Farmers slam dangerous driving

National, Normal

HIGHLANDERS who frequently travel along the Highlands Highway are urging drivers and owners of PMV buses to take precautions when driving the treacherous stretch.
William Dop, a Western Highlands farmer, said he has witnessed careless driving by many motorists.
Drivers speed down the highway, especially in the Markham Valley area, and are never mindful of the passengers they have on board such as school students, working people, farmers, missionaries and those who were going for business purposes, Mr Dop said.
He said many Highlands farmers are frequent travellers on the road on the way to Lae to sell their produce.
 The concern comes after an accident at Markham Valley last Tuesday killed 40 people on board, and injured 19 others.
Mr Dop said drivers were sometimes intoxicated and never slowed down when approaching road bends and drove through or katim kona as it is commonly known in Tok Pisin.
“For new travellers, this may seem like a roller coaster ride, but for myself and other frequent travellers, this is normal,” he said.
Jackson Tony, a farmer who often travels to sell kaukau, said this sort of accident had been anticipated by others like him because the drivers were “reckless” and “inconsiderate”, which sometimes made him reluctant to travel.
He called on drivers to always bear in mind that some of them were only drivers, not the owners who bought the bus through hard work and God’s grace.