12 Mar 2008

Frustration in Samoa over governments lack of dialogue over car switiching bill

10:14 am on 12 March 2008

The manager of a car dealership in Samoa says she's frustrated at the goverments lack of dialogue with businesses who are affected by the planned switch to right hand drive.

A special parliamentary committee in Samoa has rejected two petitions opposing the government's proposal to have vehicles drive on the left hand side of the road.

The deputy Prime Minister says the government will help out those who find themselves out of pocket by making sure insurance premiums don't rise.

But the manager of Samoa's Hyundai car dealership, C.C.K. Trading Limited, Georgina Newton says the business is already losing money.

She says sales ground to a halt when the announcement to switch to right hand drive was made and stemming the rise of insurance premiums won't be of any real benefit.

"Especially for rental car companies, they'll have to change their whole fleet. I'm part of the rental car association and I know the people in the rental car assocation don't wanna be renting out left hand drives driving on the wrong side of the road and they'll be wanting to switch to right hand drives. And that's a huge financial expenditure."

Georgina Newton.

The Deputy Prime Minister, Misa Telefoni, has earlier said the government will try to avoid financially compensating people.