Time to get tough on road rules

Editorial

IT is high time someone in authority takes the chaos on Port Moresby’s roads and streets seriously.
Proper traffic road signs should be erected throughout the capital city.
Traffic road signs in the city are virtually non-existent and that has resulted in many accidents, congestion and infringements,
which are intolerable to law-abiding citizens, road-users and motorists.
We couldn’t agree more with concerns by police that motorists are defying traffic regulations by driving over the median that divided the city roads.
In some cases, vehicles are making dangerous U-turns in places where they are not supposed to be turning and vehicles are being parked at unauthorised locations or even on the pavements in public venues, which is wrong.
Moreover, every rule in the traffic book is being broken.
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 locations 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.
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 and the infringement of traffic laws, including traffic light regulations, draws heavy penalties.
For example, in some countries if you disobey a red or yellow traffic light, you may receive an infringement notice from the police.
If you disobey a red traffic light, you may be sent a camera detected offence notice.
You can face up to 12 months suspension from driving on the first offence and if caught a second time you are likely to lose your driver’s licence.
Sadly, that does not happen in Papua New Guinea, especially in the NCD, because we don’t take road safety seriously.
With the influx of vehicles into the capital city 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.
Road safety and the adherence of traffic laws must become a top priority for the police and other relevant government agencies.
It is vital that CCTV 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.
NCD roads are 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.
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.
It is also a risky and dangerous practice that must not be condoned by the relevant government authorities.

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