Road safety law should be priority

Editorial

ROAD safety and adherence of traffic laws must become a top priority for police and other relevant Government agencies.
Reckless motorists are still running red lights at traffic light intersections in Port Moresby.
This illegal and dangerous practice has become so rampant in the capital city that no one seems to care about it anymore.
No offense, but the main culprits who run the red lights are PMV drivers, who 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 red lights and breaking other traffic rules.
There is no police presence at traffic light locations and there are no cameras to detect them.
As far as these ‘cowboys’ are concerned, they own city roads and nobody can stop them and their dangerous habits.
Traffic lights were invented to control flow of traffic and pedestrians to improve safety and access to roads in large towns and cities.
Sensible motorists drive at speeds that give them time to react if the traffic lights change.
In other countries such as Australia, road safety is of paramount importance.
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 seem to take road safety seriously.
As well, introduction of alcohol breath-testing for drivers must not be further delayed.
The nation’s capital is full of drunk drivers who 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.
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 a motor vehicle. Despite much external research that shows that mobile phones distract motorists, PNG has yet to come up with specific laws that stop motorists from using their handsets while driving.
National Capital District Commission had planned to install closed-circuit television cameras (CCTV) at traffic lights and designated bus stops to monitor chewing and littering of betel nuts.
This will help detect traffic offenders as well in those areas.
Not only that, it will serve as a deterrent to drivers who, because of the lack of police visibility on busy roads and intersections, belligerently flout traffic rules every day.
Certain sections of the city roads currently have cameras that were donated by China and used during the Apec Leaders’ Week last November.
Police and road traffic officers will find that it will make their work easier.
Whoever is responsible for enforcing the traffic rules is obviously sleeping on the job.
They must wake up to the fact that motorists are continuing to make city roads unsafe and prone to nasty, even fatal accidents.
Developed countries rely on traffic cameras to monitor, among other things, traffic flow and violations.
The technology can also be useful in recording traffic patterns for future planning of roads and outlets out of the city centre.
Introduction of cameras to monitor traffic movement, starting with the major road routes in Port Moresby, will greatly boost the national programmes promoting road safety.

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