8 Jan 2004

Lack of police blamed for Fiji road toll

11:32 am on 8 January 2004

The National Road Safety Council says the record number of deaths on Fiji roads last year were largely attributed to lack of traffic officers patrolling the central division area.

Executive director Chandra Shekkar says the highway road connecting Nadi international airport with Suva city is very busy, and there are more vehicles now.

He says 78 people died on Fiji's roads last year, compared with 59 in the year before.

"We find that the central division fatalities thats towards Suva increased by 65 per cent. We had a few probs when it came to enforcement officers on the road, there was restructuring, reorganisation, and some of our roads was left unattended for some periods of time and the increase in the central division has affected overall numbers."

Chandra Shekkar says the NRSC hopes to reduce last year's road fatalities to less than 50 people by next year.

It is reported the estimated cost of road deaths last year was over 17,000 US dollars.

The NRSC are running a 'I am a safe road user' campaign, intended to commit road users to drive safety.