1 Sep 2008

Fiji considers new regulations on public bus safety after horror fatal fire

8:12 pm on 1 September 2008

Fiji's interim transport minister, Timoci Natuva, says he is proposing a new policy to ensure safer public transport after a bus fire that killed ten people last Friday.

The bus, transporting an extended family of around 40 to a funeral, caught fire near the town of Sigatoka.

Among the dead were a pregnant woman and four children.

Mr Natuva says he's proposing a law for six monthly bus inspections and has instructed government agencies to develop a framework covering the needed safety features.

"We are looking at safety aspects and also a timeline that we normally carry out inspections. It normally takes 12 months, but some of these buses are really old and we would like to review that. We don't have regulations for emergency exits on the bus. Buses that have an accident it's all closed up and there's only one exit, the door. People trying to jump out of the bus, they couldn't."

Mr Natuva says there's also a need for an age limit on bus chassis, and for fire extinguishers and hammers to be carried.