Take road safety advice seriously

Editorial, Normal

The National, Thursday November 26th, 2015

 AN accident is never intentional although it can often result from human negligence or carelessness.

But in the event of such an event, and especially so in Papua New Guinea, human emotions take over and spur-of-the moment actions lead to further loss or death which are sometimes regretted later.

Such was the case in unfortunate mishap involving a speeding vehicle in the Port Moresby suburb of Tokarara on Monday. 

According to our report, a man, reported to be the driver of the vehicle, died and three others were seriously injured in the accident which occurred just outside a school.

Imagine the extent of the loss of life if school children were mingling near where the accident happened. 

Eye witnesses said the vehicle, travelling at high speed from Hohola, veered off the road and ran into vendors at a roadside market.  

A number of bystanders and vendors were reported to be seriously injured and taken to hospital.  

Bystanders reportedly beat the driver to death following the accident. 

Such venting of anger, although understandable, is uncalled for and only worsens the misery, pain and suffering from what was an unfortunate and unintended mishap – an accident.

The accident is another sad reminder for the public at large, and especially the Port Moresby city residents, to be safety conscious when walking or driving on public roads.  

Drive into any suburb in the city and you will be amazed at how the public dare to defy traffic movement.

People have placed too much faith in other fallible humans driving what are basically composites of metal, rubber and electrical wiring.

The fragile human body stands no chance of surviving the impact of an uncontrolled motor vehicle weighing hundreds of kilogrammes more and running at even the slowest of speeds.   

Yet people dare to move about obliviously as close to roadsides as they dare to hoping that the intelligent being at the wheel knows well when and how to avoid hitting anyone.

Roadside vendors and drunks stand by dangerously close to drive ways, caring little about the flow of traffic.

Pedestrians behave in a way as if they are actually daring drivers to cause an accident.  

And when that happens, without second thoughts, they will mob the driver involved.  

It appears that city residents do not take public safety seriously.  

The accident on Monday has prompted the municipal authority to come out on the need for people to be conscious of public safety.  

Director of National Capital District’s urban safety division Paul Komboi has appealed to residents and visitors to be mindful about their own safety, especially when on public roads.  

There is nothing wrong with people vending but it must be within their residence and properties and not on the roadsides which is too risky, especially for those along the main roads, Komboi said. 

Although the city authority is doing what it can, through erecting structures such as walkways and guardrails on busy street sections, the public must also help by observing and abiding by simple and possibly life-saving instructions and regulations.

Living in Port Moresby city is unlike in the villages where people roam freely.

Such risks are not only related to road accidents, but there are other factors such criminal activities and drunkard disorderly behavior.

We join the NCDC in appealing to the city residents to be mindful about safety.  Simple measures like using the overhead bridges and refraining from roadside vending should not be taken lightly. 

The city authority has and will continue to provide safety measures and there are rules are in place for public well-being.  

It makes no sense when the authorities concerned spend large sums of money to erect structures aimed at enhancing public safety when the public themselves fail to use them and place themselves at great and avoidable risk.

It is also a timely reminder from the city authority that the festive season is also when accidents are prone to happen. 

Simple adherence to safety rules and common sense by city residents – pedestrians and motorists and motorists alike can avoid unfortunate events.