Lockington's Everyday Fiji ... Life Goes On

Allen Lockington is a self-employed customs agent and business consultant who has regular articles published in Fiji. I thank Allen for permission to reprint some of them in this political blog. They remind us that life goes on, whatever the political situation. And it's good to know that. 

Speed Kills

Speed kills, that’s a fact. We have so many accidents despite the many efforts of the authorities to cut down fatalities and accidents. Drivers are just not listening. I suggest that we make it a criminal offence when a speeding driver has an accident. It should no longer be a traffic offence. We have to put our foot down even if we are the first in the world. Remember a person with a criminal offence has difficulty in emigrating.

Furthermore, we have all sorts of vehicles travelling on our roads. For long haul public service vehicles may I suggest that all mini vans and buses clock their time with LTA when they leave Suva for Lautoka and vice versa? These vehicles are supposed to travel at 60 kilometers per hour. A vehicle travelling from Lautoka to Suva should take 5 to 7 hours depending on stops if travelling at 60 kilometers an hour.

Perhaps we can slow the vehicles down and save lives.

In an article regarding speeding reported in the Fiji Times 1966 buses travelling from Suva to Nausori were booked if they arrived early, that would indicate that they were speeding. No questions were asked – the then Transport Control Board officer stationed at the bus stand would just issue a speeding ticket and ask no further questions.  Back then buses took three hours to travel the Suva Nausori corridor, considering the roads.

Comments

Dave Lucas said…
In all the years I was in Fiji, I was unable to find anyone that knew why some vehicles were allowed to travel at the national speed limit of 80 kmh, and others at speeds of 60 kph and some as low as 35 kmh.

I posed the question to the PS Transport. I posed the question to the Minister of Transport (not the current ones) and they were at a loss.

It is the probably one of the more stupid laws that I came across in Fiji. Here you have a law that effects all of the travelling public of Fiji, and nobody knows why it's there, including the cops!!!

The cops love it. People forget they are in a commercial vehicle and get done like a dog's dinner time after time.

Suppose you have a privately owned vehicle and you doddle along to work day after day at 80 kmh. You then decide that you will sell the vehicle to the company you work for, but continue to use the vehicle. Only thing is, with the change of ownership to the company, it becomes "commercial" and the the fastest you can travel is 60 kmh.

Madness!

I was in Oz on the highway south of Brisbane on a stretch with a speed limit of 115 kmh. As I was quite happy at about 105 ~ 110, I was very surprised to be overtaken by a low-loader with a 50 tonne digger on the back doing the full 115 kmh, and that's what it should be - if the speed limit is 80 kph, then all vehicles using the road must be capable of safe navigation at that speed.

Fiji should remove arcane and stupid laws from the LTA Act, including the one where you are supposed to have both hands on the wheel at all times. Doesn't matter that you have take one off the wheel to change gears...

Oi lei.
Anonymous said…
It is interesting to see Allan sitting in front of a tanoa that is disproportionate to his own size. The gold liquid that has created many sandpapered bodies across Fiji is not visible but, according to Fiji tradition no one sits in front of an empty tanoa for nothing. It is the Fiji fuel that has soothed stirred nerves and also, prematurely, transported many to their graves. The tanoa is the proverbial oasis of the nation and when considered objectively, it has done as much harm to the health of the people as tobacco has. It has killed productivity at workplaces and activity in bedrooms. Its numbing effect on the brain has similar effect on other organs of our bodies. Few consider its disastrous impact on families and women are its greatest victims, as their husbands recede from being their champions to being champions of the gold liquid. They return home late, wake up late and drag themselves out of their beds as if they returned from the battlefied with stupor of pride intact! Allan, you are a wise and respected man - that tanoa does very little to your image and think of its impact on your children - a legacy that you don't want to bestow and an inheritance that the children should be spared.

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